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Albany Tech Begins New Semester System

August 21, 2011 - WFXL - The Technical College System of Georgia instructed technical schools – such as Albany Technical College – to switch from quarters to semesters.

The new semester system at Albany Technical College left some students confused on their first day of classes for the fall semester, and filing at administrative and instructor offices.

“From our understanding they say they're cutting our money, just a little bit, but we're not sure. That's what we're trying to find out now,” says Sophomore Albany Tech Student Shannon Goodwin.

“They're working on it. A lot of the classes are full, so they're 'we're going to have to put you in another class,' and that class is full too so we're not able to get as many hours as we need,” says Albany Tech Student Ashlee McKenney.

Albany Tech instructors say students are coming with questions about the amount of classes they should be taking to be full-time. Not having full-time status means students will not get funds from the scholarships, grants or loans they have.

“You get five quarter hours but when you change over to semester it drops down to three, so our students are a little bit concerned about the number system but we've talked with them to let them know it transitions over. It's still the same,” says Lt. (Ret.) Kenn Singleton, Chair and Instructor with Law Enforcement Technology at Albany Tech.

There are lines of questions but some students are excited.

“It's a great change that will benefit everybody. It gives you more class time, more time with the teachers, more one on one,” says Albany Tech Student Emily Pollard.

Teachers are also excited about the extra six weeks of class time.

“That's going to give us more time to spend with our students, give us more time for practical exercises, more time for giving out more information,” says Singleton.

He says while the new semester system is causing some students frustration, in the end, he says, it will benefit many of them.

“What it's really going to do that we're excited about is that it's going to help our young people, our students here who are going to transition over to four year institutions. Most of those institutions are on semester systems,” says Singleton.

To help with confusion, departments made up sheets with a breakdown to explain the quarter to semester changes with classes.

As students transition their understanding of quarters to semesters, instructors ask for patience.

“They know this is a new change and all the nooks and crannies are going to have to be worked out. It's going to take a little time, so bare with us,” says Singleton.

“I just hope they get everything straightened so it’s not so much stress on the students,” says Goodwin.

Also with the new semester system, students are required to have 63 semester hours instead of the 93 quarter hours. Instructors says the quarter hours student already earned will be transferred into semester hours.

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