Tahoe college reviews possible switch to semester schedule | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe college reviews possible switch to semester schedule

Sara Thompson / Tahoe Daily Tribune

More information is needed before a decision can be reached to either switch to compressed semesters, or keep the quarter schedule at Lake Tahoe Community College, according to the LTCC Board of Trustees.

Compressed semesters are a few weeks shorter than traditional semesters.

Aaron McVean, LTCC instructional research and planning director, presented results of a student survey on the proposed change to the LTCC Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

The survey was a done face-to-face with 501 students during the first week of Spring quarter, McVean said. About 68.5 percent of students said switching to semesters would not impact their decision to enroll, and 13.2 percent said they would not have enrolled. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points, McVean said.

A survey was also sent to the college’s classified employees in March, and 44.3 percent preferred a compressed semester schedule, 39.9 percent preferred the quarter schedule and 15.9 percent had no preference.

The board wanted more time to review the survey results, and hear from the college faculty.

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Because the college is switching its operational software soon, Lori Gaskin, LTCC vice president of academic affairs and student services, asked the board to provide direction to set up for either a quarter or semester schedule.

LTCC Board President Kerry David said staff contracts would need to be discussed if the college switched to compressed semesters, and more time is needed to make an informed decision.

“There are so many ramifications that go beyond the scope of our gut call,” David said.

Board member Karen Borges said she’d like to see information on the academic success of community college students in a quarter system versus a compressed semester, and what happens when students transfer to a four-year school.

The board needs to make a decision by May 20. To keep the discussion going, the board will hold a special meeting to discuss the quarter versus compressed semester schedule on 5:30 p.m. April 20 at the college in Room 104. The forum is open to everyone.

A faculty member in favor of semesters and another in favor of quarters will be present to help answer the board’s questions.