September 2011

Quarters to Semesters Update 

September 2011

Countdown to Semesters!!
9 months and counting
Semesters start on June 18, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

The switch to the semester calendar is rapidly approaching. This change, arriving with the start of summer classes on June 18, 2012, will mark the end of 90 years on the quarter system. Just days earlier, the university will have celebrated spring quarter Commencement — Ohio State’s 400th and the last Commencement on the quarter-based calendar.

Over the next several months, work will continue so that we are fully prepared for the resetting of our institutional indicators to the semester system. In this issue of QSU, we want to provide you with a number of important reminders and keep you abreast of the latest progress towards the now-imminent semester calendar.

Calendaring for semesters. For a look at the calendar for summer 2012 — Ohio State’s first term on the semester system, please see http://registrar.osu.edu/staff/bigcal.asp.

For longer term information, a calendar showing academic years 2012-13 through 2016-17 may be found at http://registrar.osu.edu/staff/bigcalsem.asp.

Other calendar issues: the short summer of 2012. Please remember that summer break in 2012 will be shorter than the summers we are accustomed to on the quarter system.

Summer break, 2012, will be 72 days in length, measured from the last day of final examinations on June 7, 2012, to the start of fall semester on August 22, 2012. By contrast, the 2011 summer break is 102 days long.

Though important for all of us, students and their families will want to be especially aware of the one-time implications of next summer’s shorter timeframe. Student work schedules, vacation planning, and leasing arrangements will all be impacted by the short summer. For additional details, please see the new student-focused website of information about the semester conversion, http://myswitch.osu.edu, which is described below.

MySwitch. MySwitch.osu.edu, a website created by Undergraduate Student Government (USG) with input and support from the offices of Academic Affairs and Student Life, launched on September 8. The website brings together university information and resources related to semester conversion. At MySwitch, students and others can find links to advising and scheduling tools, financial aid information, housing deadlines, study abroad and summer jobs considerations, and calendars. The site consolidates the many resources provided by university departments in one, easy-to-use website. Its messages strongly encourage students to work closely with their academic advisers in scheduling and to use the links to get the information they need to make a smooth transition in all areas of their collegiate experience.

USG will promote MySwitch heavily during Welcome Week by distributing flashdrives and T-shirts at the Student Involvement Fair on Monday, September 20, and at Buck-i-Frenzy on Tuesday, September 21. MySwitch will be linked from BuckeyeLink and promoted throughout the year in a variety of media.

Tuition and fee payment: quarters v. semesters. Among the most important aspects of the semester conversion for students and their families will be the tuition and fee payment schedules on the new calendar.

We want to stress that the cost of tuition and fees will not be affected by the shift to semesters (see the Pledge to Students). On the semester calendar, however, students will have two tuition/fee payments per year instead of three. The tables below illustrate the undergraduate tuition and fee payment schedule on quarters and semesters. Both tables use current academic year costs for purposes of this comparison.

Per Quarter: Columbus Campus,
Based on AY 2010-11 Billed Expenses

Billed expenses*

Ohio resident

Nonresident

Tuition and fees

$3,140

$7,868

Typical room and board

$3,388

$3,388

* Fees are generally due 7 days prior to the beginning of classes each quarter: mid-September for autumn, late December for winter, and late March for spring.

Per Semester: Columbus Campus,
Based on AY 2010-11 Billed Expenses

Billed expenses*

Ohio resident

Nonresident

Tuition and fees

$4,710

$11,802

Typical room and board

$5,082

$5,082

* Fees will generally be due 7 days prior to the beginning of classes each semester: mid-August for autumn and late December for spring.

There will be fewer payments on the semester system, but those payments will be in larger increments each time. Like tuition and fees, financial aid on the semester system will be split into two payments instead of three. The semester conversion will not affect the amount of a student’s financial aid.

To make fee payment as easy as possible for students and families, Ohio State has a Tuition Option Payment Plan (TOPP). This plan allows students to split the cost of fees and other eligible university expenses into two payments per term. For more information about the TOPP program, please see http://8help.osu.edu/4088.html#burs3.

Reminder: UCAT Course Design Institutes

The University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) offers Course Design Institutes to provide instructors with the tools, time, and support to design or re-design any course, including new courses, courses that need to be revised for the semester calendar, or courses whose enrollments have changed. For dates, times, and additional information, please visit http://ucat.osu.edu.

Cordially,

 W. Randy Smith
Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Co-Chair,
Semester Conversion Coordinating Committee

 Steven S. Fink
Associate Professor of English and Co-Chair,
Semester Conversion Coordinating Committee

Special note from Randy Smith. I want to take this opportunity in closing to add a personal note. As you may know, Steve Fink has been named executive associate dean of curriculum and instruction in the College of Arts and Sciences. Over the last two years, Steve’s leadership, collegiality, and admirable work ethic have helped us take sure and measurable steps toward the semester calendar. These same qualities, plus his many other talents, will be indispensable to continuing the momentum of the Arts and Sciences. Steve will assume his new duties full time on October 1, but he has agreed to continue to work on the semester conversion process. That will include co-producing QSU, to which he will no doubt bring additional perspectives to what we share with you each month. I know you join me in wishing him all the best in his new endeavor.

Questions or comments about the transition to the semester calendar?
Contact Assistant Provost Jay Johnson, johnson.1043@osu.edu