Revamping the Semester System
Albany Technical College Takes a Simple but Bold Approach
Beginning Fall 2019, the semester system will be modified to two seven-week academic terms that have been labeled “Success Terms” or “7 + 7 Semesters.”
This new approach creates six entry points during an academic year when students can start classes, rather than the three currently available in the traditional semester format. The shortened format will allow students to take classes and earn credits more frequently while giving them fewer classes to focus on per seven-week period. Albany Technical College is making a bold move to ensure success for its students. Starting in the fall of 2019, the current semester system will be modified to two seven-week academic terms that have been labeled “Success Terms” or “7 + 7 Semesters.”
Albany Tech will be the first TCSG institution to switch over to this approach, which creates six times during an academic year when students can start classes, rather than the three entry points available in a traditional semester format.
The shortened format will allow our students to take classes and earn credits more frequently while giving them fewer classes to focus on per seven-week period. Students will never be too far away from the next set of starting classes.
Research shows that the new format can improve student performance with fewer subjects to focus on per seven-week period; increase the number of credit hours a student can earn per time period, and provide employers with employees more frequently each year.
If the number of courses that a full-time student is taking is reduced at any given time, and there is an increase in the number of block terms per year, then this creates a system where student success is likely, and the College will have more students taking full-time credits each semester. This will generate a win-win environment for students, the College, and employers in the community.
In the conventional semester system, a non-traditional student might be managing multiple jobs, family responsibilities, and taking four or even five classes but with the new system, the course load will be lowered to two classes, making life more manageable.
Success Terms & Financial Aid
When your 2nd term begins you can only be paid for the number of credit hours for which you haven’t withdrawn. For example, you originally were scheduled to attend 2 classes in each term (Four 3 hour classes= 12 credit hours). You withdrew from one class leaving you with 1 class you completed in the first part of the semester and 2 classes for the 2nd part of the semester. You will only be eligible for 9 credit hours(75%) of your Pell grant award.
Withdrawal from classes will have a greater impact on your financial aid if it doesn’t occur before the first term ends. Financial Aid pays for courses according to the number of days you are scheduled to attend. Since each term contains approximately 50 days a withdrawal during the first week of your second term results in your earning 55% of your Pell vs. 100% if you dropped your C-term classes before the term began.
Contact the Registrar to drop any C-term class before you complete your B-term course. If not, you could owe back unearned financial aid due to a Return to Title IV calculation even if you pass your B-term course(s). Any part of the term for which you register because of a part of your financial aid payment period. Failure to begin these classes means you didn’t meet your scheduled obligation
If you decide to withdraw during B-term and you have C-term classes scheduled you will be considered withdrawn from the entire 14 week semester. If you plan to complete your C-term class you must provide notice to the registrar before withdrawing from your B-term class(es). You will not be considered a withdrawal as long as you withdraw from all future courses on the same day that you complete a part of the term.
Financial Aid pays based on attending hours – if you aren’t yet attending the class your Pell and/or student loans won’t disburse until you actually attend the class. If you have 3 hours in B-term and 3 hours in C-term your student loan won’t pay until after the C-term class begins. Your Pell will also be split into multiple disbursements during the semester.
Student budgets are based on the number of months in your enrollment period. If your classes are scheduled to run from August to December then your cost of attendance will be larger than that of a student whose classes are scheduled to run from October to December. This budget directly impacts the number of student loans you can receive or hours you can work under the work-study program