This winter Mercyhurst University offered J-Term for students. The J-Term, scheduled between the fall and spring semesters, provided students the opportunity to take one class, complete an internship opportunity, or stay at home for additional time off for winter break.
Since the term was only three weeks (1/6-1/24) the duration of class time was increased to a grueling three hours per class. For most students, having one class per day for three weeks sounds like ample time to gain a quick three credits, or complete a difficult science and lab course, lessening a student’s burden while taking other classes.
Colin McDonald, a senior international business major recalls his experience, “I would have to say the J-Term is a good idea for students because it gives them the opportunity to gain some credits but also have enough down time to relax and see friends while at school”.
However, some students have not had the best experiences. The Sunday and Monday before the term began, the US obtained record low temperatures causing large amounts of snowfall and ice. The snow and ice prevented airplanes from landing into Erie International Airport redirecting flights to surrounding cities.
Many students that were flying into Erie had to wait in Pittsburgh, Detroit and Philadelphia airports until the weather in Erie calmed down so flights could be cleared for landing. In several cases, some students had to wait in surrounding airports for up to 5 days until they could find flights into Erie. Mauricio Canton, a Junior intelligence major from Mexico could not find a flight until the following Tuesday.
Since he missed a week of classes from the mess of flights coming into Erie and the east coast, he had no choice but to drop the class. Mauricio reacts with frustration “It’s not fair. Since the J-Term was so short, it did not give enough time for students to catch up on missed work. Missing class would put a student too far behind without enough time to catch up. For me, I did not have a choice because of the weather. I was forced to drop my class and the credits I would have earned are now lost.”
Now with J-Term over and the spring term in full tilt, students who completed J-Term were offered to fill out a survey that will bring in a collective feedback of every students experience. While questions and rumors of whether J-Term will return next year is uncertain, changes to J-Term are speculative yet plausible to come, as long as it will be offered next year.