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Quarter-to-Semester Updates - September 2010

Quarters to Semesters Update 

September 8, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

It is hard to believe that in just a few weeks Ohio State will launch its next-to-last autumn quarter. We are happy to report that strides toward the coming semester calendar are being made methodically in many areas of the university, and this issue of QSU will attest to that. Especially gratifying, we think, is the curricular progress that Ohio State units are making in preparation for the shift to semesters in summer 2012.

That progress is heralded by the semester-based program and course proposals now being reviewed by the Council on Academic Affairs (CAA). The College of Engineering, for example, has submitted semester-based proposals for most of the degree programs offered by the college. The College of Pharmacy has also submitted the semester-based version of its PharmD program.

Units submitting proposals for program and course revisions later this autumn include the colleges of Business; Dentistry; Education and Human Ecology; Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Medicine; Optometry; Public Health; and Veterinary Medicine, as well as a number of the units within the Arts and Sciences.

In winter 2011 the remaining Arts and Sciences units will submit their proposals, along with the colleges of Nursing and Social Work. Pharmacy will also forward its proposals beyond that already submitted for the PharmD program.

By the end of winter quarter, then, semester-based proposals for all Ohio State programs and courses should be in hand and either already acted upon or set for action.

Course and program proposals assistance. To help units prepare the semester-based course and program proposals, we are meeting with their curricular associate deans in advance of proposal submission. Curriculum Subcommittee Co-Convener and Faculty Fellow Ann Christy and Associate Provost Alexis Collier join us at these meetings to answer questions and provide all other assistance possible to ensure that proposals are in good order when they are submitted to CAA.

In addition, a series of workshops on the online course and program approval system will be offered this autumn. The summer workshops on using this system filled immediately, so several additional opportunities are being planned to assist those faculty and staff who will be entering and approving course and program information. Templates of the information that must be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs and the Council on Academic Affairs are available at Please watch next month’s QSU for details about the autumn workshops.

Course Design Institutes. The University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) is also offering assistance in planning for the transition to semesters. A series of Course Design Institutes will help faculty participants to create a basic course structure, including plans for a syllabus, assignments, assessment tools, and a course outline. Institutes will be held at the dates and times listed below. All will take place at 300 Younkin Success Center, 1640 Neil Ave. Please visit the UCAT website for additional details.

Quarter Dates Time
Autumn 2010 Wednesdays: Sep. 29-Oct. 27 1-4 p.m.
Winter Break Monday – Friday, Dec. 13-17 12-3 p.m.
Winter 2011 Fridays: Jan. 14-Feb. 11 TBD
Spring Break Monday – Friday, March 21-25 TBD
Spring 2011 Wednesdays: April 6-May 4 TBD
Summer Break Monday – Friday, June 13-17 TBD
Summer Session II Monday – Friday, Aug. 8-12 TBD

Other upcoming meetings. The semester conversion will be the topic of a number of meetings planned for this autumn.

  • A September 15 town meeting will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. in Room 126 of the Warner Library and Student Center at Ohio State Newark. The meeting will give our Newark colleagues the opportunity to learn more about the calendar conversion. We will be on hand for that discussion, as will Professor and Faculty Fellow Ann Christy, Associate Provost Alexis Collier, and Assistant Provost Jay Johnson.
  • We spoke to a campus audience, primarily academic advisers, at the Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience Campus Update Conference on August 25, and at Parent and Family Week-End on October 16, we will offer a session for parents and families to brief them on the preparations Ohio State is making to assure that their students experience a smooth transition to semesters.
  • Ohio State will host a Second “Semester Summit” on October 25. Last year more than 400 faculty and administrators from 17 public colleges and universities and two private colleges attended the first such summit at Wright State University. The summit will give representatives from the participating institutions an opportunity to explore calendar conversion issues, solutions, and best practices.

Starting this autumn, the university will make special, concerted efforts to keep students informed about the semester conversion. We are creating a special student and families section on the semester conversion website, and we will begin to send targeted messages about the conversion — coursework, advising, deadlines, and other issues of special importance to students — through a variety of outlets, including social media, websites, email, university publications, newspapers and newsletters, and open forums.

Our aim is to keep all members of the university community as up to date as possible as we move toward the semester calendar.


 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

Questions or comments about the transition to the semester calendar?
Contact Assistant Provost Jay Johnson,

The Ohio State University