Focusing on Student Success
Starting in June 2020, WCTC will implement a year-round academic calendar that offers courses in 8-week timeframes. You’ll be able to build on your academic momentum and complete your education in less time – getting you out into the workforce sooner.
- Finish a class in 8 weeks, rather than the traditional 16 weeks.
- Complete more credits each semester, and earn your degree faster.
- Engage with instructors and classmates for the same number of hours, but in fewer weeks.
Each academic year will include five 8-week terms: one in summer, two in fall and two in spring. Two shorter terms are available in winter and summer. There are short breaks between each of the five 8-week terms. Start dates may vary by program.
Questions and Answers about 8-Week Courses
The answer is simple: student success. Several WCTC programs already operate in an 8-week format, and data shows significantly higher success rates in these shortened terms. We are excited to transition all WCTC programs into the new format, making your educational goals more attainable than ever!
Fall Term 1: August 17-October 9, 2020
Fall Term 2: October 19-December 11, 2020
Winter Graduation Ceremony: December 12, 2020
Winter Interim: December 14, 2020-January 10, 2021
Spring Term 1: January 18-March 12, 2021
Spring Term 2: March 22-May 14, 2021
Spring Graduation Ceremony: May 15, 2021
Summer Interim: May 17-June 6, 2021
Summer Term: June 7-July 30, 2021
2020-2021 Academic Calendar dates are subject to change.
This transition is especially beneficial for part-time students. The 8-week format allows them to focus their efforts on one to two courses at a time while having the opportunity to accumulate more credits each semester.
Full-time students can maintain their current courseload each semester, but spread out over two 8-week terms. They can also take advantage of more courses offered during the summer term for an additional 8 weeks of learning each year.
Financial aid will continue to be awarded based on how many credits you take each semester. In order to be eligible for financial aid, program students should register for both 8-week terms in a given semester at the same time. For example, you will need to register for both Fall 1 and 2 to have the equivalent of a full-time credit load.
During the fall and spring semesters, be sure to register for both 8-week terms (e.g. Fall 1 and Fall 2) at the same time. This will help keep you on track for the most efficient course sequence to complete your program.
Registering for both 8-week terms at the same time will also ensure that you have the correct credit load for financial aid eligibility.
Beginning in June 2020, nearly all of our programs will shift to the 8-week model. Although some programs may offer select 16-week classes, nearly all will transition to 8 weeks.
Apprenticeships and select Dual Enrollment Academy programs will continue to follow the 16-week model.
You can expect to spend the amount of total class time to be the same in an 8-week course as in a traditional 16-week course. This may come in the form of more online work and/or longer individual class meeting times.
Keep in mind, financial aid is only available in the Bookstore during August, January and June. You should purchase your books and other required materials for both 8-week terms at the beginning of each semester.
Our faculty members are working to build additional support into your classes. You can also take advantage of Academic Support services, including peer tutoring, subject-specific support centers and more. Students with disabilities can also contact the Student Accessibility Office to arrange accommodations. We are working to add additional online support in the future.
Some classes in select associate degree in technical diploma programs will continue to be offered in the 16-week format. Apprenticeships and select Dual Enrollment Academy programs will continue to follow the 16-week model.
Instructors are redesigning course assignments and assessments so that you can learn the same material more efficiently, with a reasonable amount of take-home work. If you are a full-time student, your workload may feel more manageable, because you will have fewer courses to concentrate on at one time.
WCTC’s Global Business program is one that is already offered in an 8-week format, and student Beth Almestica, who is in her 40s, a wife, working parent and caretaker to her mother, said the schedule fits well with her family and job responsibilities.
“I was really interested in the program, but having the 8-week courses is what really drew me in,” said Almestica. “This schedule worked for me… I’m still able to go to school and fulfill my commitment at work and at home,” she said, noting the schedule required her to better manage her time, plan her schedule and stay on task.
Global Business, '20