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Quarter to Semester Conversion


Quarter to Semester Conversion Review of Issues, Timelines, Finances * * Pre-conversion parameters are those commitments or goals institutions usually set at the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Quarter to Semester Conversion

Quarter to Semester Conversion
  • Review of Issues, Timelines, Finances

Very complex process
  • Time 3 years
  • Significant changes to nearly all processes
  • Need for consultation and involvement of campus
    community in identification of issues and

Presentation Outline
  • Why is the University interested? - Pros and Cons
  • What is the conversion process?
  • Deciding to change
  • Changes involved
  • Managing the change
  • Costs of the change
  • Post conversion

Pros and ConsQuarters vs Semesters
  • Pros and Cons Values and Priorities
  • A array of potential benefits with predicted
    impacts that vary depending upon what is valued

Pros and ConsQuarters vs Semesters
  • Examples of Semester Pros
  • Allows for enhanced writing assignments, time for
    remedial work, and improved depth of
  • Text books are generally designed for semester
    delivery since c 85 of U.S. higher education
    institutions are on semesters
  • Fewer financial aid award adjustments
  • Students have earlier opportunities for summer
    and full time jobs but must leave jobs earlier in
    the Fall if returning
  • Examples of Quarter Pros
  • Larger set of course options for students
  • Course content that is best delivered through
    repetition and more consistent exposure to
    material is better suited for the quarter system
  • Semesters can make student budgeting financial
    aid awards more difficult - larger awards must be
    managed over more time by each student
  • August vacation schedule

Pros and ConsQuarters vs Semesters
  • Examples of Semester Pros
  • Reduced administrative activities around
    beginning and ending of academic terms
  • Potential for cost savings and/or improved
    quality of service
  • Opportunity to schedule January mini-term
  • More time to recover from a bad start in a class
  • Better fit with study abroad opportunities
  • Better opportunity to take GECR and major courses
  • Fewer opportunities for dropping out
  • Examples of Quarter Pros
  • Lower cost of failure for students - financially
    and in terms of opportunities to re-try courses
  • Transfer issues from quarter schools
  • Need to carefully manage personnel resources due
    to longer time periods between peak activity
  • Fewer opportunities for admission of students
  • Take/teach fewer courses at one time
  • Conversion costs - financial and opportunity costs

Pros and ConsQuarters vs Semesters
  • Need to decide which are the most important
  • Both systems can and have worked.
  • Which system supports best the things the
    University values most?

What will we change?Areas of Conversion Change
  • 1. Curriculum, Course and Pedagogic Development -
  • 2. Systems Reconstruction and Procedures
    Revisions (registration, financial aid, student
  • 3. Advising (conversion of every continuing
    student to a planned semester program for
  • 4. Information Technology (systems development
    work through in-house or outsourced change,
    record keeping, historical records transition)
  • 5. Publications revision
  • 6. Relationships with other institutions
    transfer processes, transfer agreements
  • 7. Space utilization, scheduling
  • 8. Contractual relationships re-negotiation of
    relevant issues

Decision to Make the Transition Possible Timeline
  • Campus consultative process on conversion -
  • Fall 2009 - Decision on Proceeding with
  • Use Summer/Fall 2009 to provide further detail on
    issues, potential parameters of conversion, and
    assess desirability.
  • If decide to convert - Winter 2010 through Summer
    2011 - Policy development scheduling
    structures faculty develop/approve curriculum
  • Implementation of conversion - Fall 2011 through
    Summer 2012 - advertising, transfer agreements,
    contractual issues, conversion plan for each
    continuing student, final schedule/program
  • Fall 2012 - begin full operation on semester

Conversion Study AreasSummer/Fall 2009
  • Fully assess pros and cons of conversion to a
    semester calendar
  • Prepare detailed timeline for transition
  • Propose principles for academic calendar, e.g.
    start dates, length, re-start for second
    semester, course credit equivalencies principles
  • Propose a management and communication process
    for transition structure and responsibility
  • Identify academic policy issues, e.g.
    expectations as to program size, relative
    proportions of general education, major, minor,
    electives, program or program neutral focus

Conversion Study AreasSummer/Fall 2009
  • Identify IT implications/cost and process
  • Develop a more complete detailing of transition
    costs in all areas
  • Identify General Education implications
  • Propose pre-conversion parameters

Pre-Conversion ParametersCommon Constraints on
  • No lengthening of student time to degree
  • Cost neutral outcome or savings goals
  • Reduction in curriculum credits by 1/3 at macro
    level without shift in percentage balance of
    general education, majors, electives (not
    opportunity for program expansion - proportional
    conversion of curricular elements)
  • Seek a uniform weekly schedule built around
    preferred course credit size (3 semester hour as
    preferred course size?)
  • Faculty workload neutral maintain ability to
    staff sections and serve comparable numbers of

Managing the Transition
  • Transition Director/Office
  • Clear recommendation from other institutions of
    need to centralize process in an
  • Need for clear/regular communications internally
    and externally
  • Single management function to keep things moving

Managing the Transition
  • Administrative Functions of Transition Office
  • Manage processes of transition - committee
    organization, membership, participation,
    paperwork and record-keeping
  • Publicize changes and progress - keep campus
    community informed, deal with external
    information needs
  • Leadership -
  • Ensure continuity and movement - press forward
    with timelines, keep committees coordinating with
    each other and exchanging information, see that
    appropriate issues are before appropriate

Financing the Conversion
  • Transition Administration Office
  • Director (probably at Vice Provost level)
  • Administrative Assistant - writing, records
    keeping, questions
  • Communications Intern (?)
  • Costs
  • Director 120,000 benefits (3 1/2 years)
  • Administrative Assistant 50,000 benefits (3
    1/2 years)
  • Communications Intern 10,000 (3 years)
  • Office setup and operations
  • Setup - 10,000
  • Annual - 7,000
  • Total 834,500

Financing the Conversion
  • Additional pay/staff (summer work, stipends,
    staff-up where beyond current staff
  • Assumes the bulk of conversion work done in load
  • Curriculum revisions
  • Student Services policy, procedure, publication
  • Information Technology transition
  • Estimated additional pay or staff - 1,000,000
  • Total cost estimate - 1.8 - 2.0 million

Steady StateAfter the Conversion
  • Reduction assumptions
  • Fewer registration processes and related services
    (1/4 reduction - 3 registrations process rather
    than 4)
  • No specific evidence found on actual savings by
    other institutions

Steady StateAfter the Transition
  • Areas of potential savings/efficiencies or
    quality improvement
  • Registration
  • Financial Aid
  • Information Technology
  • Advising

Potential Savings Estimates
  • Assumptions of a reduction model
  • Can reduce staffing in direct proportion to
    registration instances
  • Can absorb additional duties to improve quality
    of service
  • Can absorb University enrollment increases
    without additional staff

Potential Savings Estimates
  • Assumptions contrary to a reduction model
  • Peak loads of activity are still as high (little
    ability to spread out some activities)
  • Need to maintain same staff but manage time more
    effectively over lower activity periods for
    better quality, e.g. better advising results in
    better retention and shorter time to graduation
  • Goal should be cost neutral and quality
  • No identified studies on pre- post- cost savings

  • Long time frame for conversion - decision to
  • Need to involve campus as much as possible
  • Need to anticipate as many issues as possible
  • Relate transition to local issues and conditions
  • Plan for costs
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