Albany, Georgia – Albany Technical College, a Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) postsecondary institution, 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.” This innovative approach to managing the semester system is changing across the nation and now it is taking hold in Georgia as well. 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.
“It is a simple concept that will work for us,” said Dr. Anthony Parker, President of Albany Technical College. “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.”
In addition to multiple entry points per semester, college officials say 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.
“Improving student success is our goal,” Dr. Parker said. “We believe this change will create positive outcomes for our students and allow them to enter the workforce at a steadier rate. We plan to offer at least 70 percent of all courses taught at the College in this new seven-week format.” However, Dr. Parker added that some courses of study with program accreditation and/or lengthier contact hour requirements will remain in the 15-week semester format.
Dr. Parker continued, “The common sense part is that if you reduce the number of courses that a full-time student is taking at any given time, and increase the number of block terms per year, then you create a system where student success is likely and the College will have more students taking full-time credits each semester. This will create a win-win environment for our students, the College, and employers in the community.”
“In the conventional semester system, a typical, non-traditional student might be managing multiple jobs, family responsibilities, and taking four or even five classes,” Dr. Parker concluded. “With the new system, the course load will be lowered to two classes, making life more manageable. Even if unforeseen life circumstances happen, and they will for all of us, with the conventional semester system, a student might walk away without earning any credit for the 15-week period. With ‘Success Terms,’ a student could potentially earn six credits and be able to move forward despite the setback. That is what we want to see happen.”
Information sessions will be scheduled over the next few months to communicate “Success Terms/7 +7 Semesters” to potential students, students, and the community. The first of the meetings will be held Tuesday, April 23, 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the Kirkland Conference Center on the campus of Albany Tech. Additional meetings dates and times will be announced.
About Albany Technical College
A public postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Albany Technical College provides technical education and training support for the evolving workforce needs of Southwest Georgia through traditional and online classroom settings. Albany Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/COC). For more information about Albany Tech, go to www.albanytech.edu or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlbanyTech or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbanyTech. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel by visiting www.youtube.com/albanytech1 .