This was a very important year for Mercyhurst University with the first academic year that followed the 4-1-4 Calendar. Throughout the year it had mixed opinions and reactions. At first, many students had trouble adapting to the new calendar. The main reason was taking more classes than we were used to.
Although the class time was shorter, students were complaining about having multiple assignments due for the same day.
Students felt that the professors were not spreading the assignments throughout the term as it was supposed to be. Students were expecting that the workload was going to be more spread throughout the term and that the new semester system was going to be less stressful, in turn. They felt it was more stressful than what was expected.
The good thing is that now students are adapting better to the calendar and figured out a way to organize their schedules so that it can be less stressful. Now that we are approaching the end of the year, and the first 4-1-4 Calendar is almost over, students are more adapted to how the system works and feel less pain than during the fall term.
One of the new implementations of the new calendar was the J-term. For some students, it was a good experience and for others not so much. This term is perfectly suited for those courses that require trips or a more practical approach. This is a great opportunity for those who want to take a course abroad as well. For the upcoming year, there are various study abroad opportunities the students can choose from.
The benefit of using the J-term for a study abroad course is that you get done with credits that are required and you have the opportunity to explore a different country, and appreciate its culture.
Holidays in the new calendar were also a subject of discussion. Most of the students complained about the short Thanksgiving break that we had this year. On the other hand, most liked the fact that the Spring Break now coincides with everyone else’s.
Those who did not take the J-term also benefited by having a month-long Christmas break, but those who had to come for the J-term still had a decent break.
For the incoming year, people will be more prepared for what to expect of the new year and will not be as hard as it was the last fall semester.