SNC fall semester to feature two-week plus 12-week academic calendar

Nick Kearney, Editor

Beginning in fall semester, Sierra Nevada College will operate a modified academic calendar, comprised of a two-week intensive session followed by a 12-week traditional semester. The college’s provost Shannon Beets introduced the new academic calendar to SNC students during a Q & A session earlier this month.

The key modification to the 14-week fall semester is that it will now commence on Sept. 3 with a two-week block of time at the beginning of the term for immersive field courses, freshman programing and internships. Instruction for the fall semester will end on Dec. 15. Likewise, the 16-week spring semester will commence on Jan. 21, ending May 17, with a three-week block of time at the end of the term for immersive experience and internships. This adjustment to the academic calendar will provides students with more time to complete summer jobs and internships, while offering unique immersion opportunities for filed courses, and other classes of interest.

Beets says that the modification to the academic calendar came out of SNC’s strategic planning process, which featured input and recommendations from faculty, staff and students over the past five years.

“We really wanted to place greater focus on active learning and the experiential education opportunities we have available here at SNC,” Beets said.

Beets says the new immersion blocks of time built into both the fall and spring semesters will      afford students the opportunity to focus more deeply on one educational experience by doing field work, or traveling to maximize experiential learning.

Lauren Rose, a sophomore biology and creative writing major, sees the benefits this change will make with respect to the viability of the academic calendar.

“I am really excited about this change, and believe it will make things much easier for students to maximize their educational experience here at SNC,” she said.

Beets says the active learning experience is better facilitated because the new academic calendar now allows students to participate in internships at the beginning of the fall semester, and at the end of the spring term.

“It really allows better opportunities for professional preparedness by providing students with hands on experience,” she said.

Diversity of classes will be important because not every class will fit this format, says Beets.

“As a faculty it is important that we provide the right classes in the immersion time blocks to really appropriate the learning opportunities,” she said.

Joao Mendes, a junior marketing major, agrees that a diversity of classes is important.

“I am hopeful that a variety of options will be made available so all students can take advantage of this opportunity,” he said.

“Lake Tahoe is a learning laboratory, and provides our students with immersion opportunities that will not only enhance their experiential understanding, but help with socialization, improve retention, and progress the mission of the college,” Beets said.

Beets encourages all students to discuss the opportunities available in the upcoming fall semester with their academic advisors.