Academic schedule shortens length of the fall semester

By BIRAL PATEL

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Students of the University will get longer summer, Thanksgiving and winter breaks because of the upcoming calendar changes.

The fall semester will begin Aug. 26, a week later than previous years, extending the summer. President Robert B. Sloan Jr. said this change will help the University start classes at the same time as other universities. Sloan also said it will benefit summer school students.

“For those who take summer school, it’s more of a break between the end of summer school and the beginning of the fall semester,” Sloan said.

James Steen, vice president for enrollment management, said that a longer summer will also help enrollment go smoother.

“In prior years, students found it difficult to enroll one week earlier than most of our state school competitors,” Steen said, adding that the enrollment process consists of multiple time-consuming tasks, such as submitting financial aid forms and getting vaccines. “These changes to the academic calendar should help us neutralize that issue,” he said.

Another modification to the academic calendar is a longer Thanksgiving break. Students usually have a full day of classes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but starting this fall, classes will be dismissed at 1 p.m.

Winter finals will be condensed into one week. Reading day will be Dec. 9, and finals will take place Dec. 10-13. Winter break will be a week longer, allowing a Fastterm from Jan. 6-14. The spring 2014 semester will begin Jan. 21.

Spring 2014 finals will also be compacted into one week. Reading day will take place May 12, and finals will take place May 13-16.

The University is required to have a minimum amount of class days, but even with the changes its number of class days exceeds that of other Texas universities.

Sophomore Hafeeza Shaik said she is grateful for the changes.

“These changes will give students more time to spend with their families during the academic year,” Shaik said. “It will give them some more time to have fun.”

Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but starting this fall, classes will be dismissed at 1 p.m.

Winter finals will be condensed into one week. Reading day will be Dec. 9, and finals will take place Dec. 10-13.  Winter break will be a week longer, allowing for a Fastterm from Jan. 6-14. The spring 2014 semester will begin Jan. 21.

Spring 2014 finals will also be compacted into one week. Reading day will take place May 12, and finals will take place May 13-16.

The University is required to have a minimum amount of class days, but even with the changes its number of class days exceeds that of other Texas universities.

Sophomore Hafeeza Shaik said she is grateful for the changes.

“These changes will give students more time to spend with their families during the academic year,” Shaik said. “It will give them some more time to have fun.”

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