As students begin applying or transferring to colleges, it is important to keep in mind is whether or not the school runs on a semester or quarterly system.
According to the National Association of College stores, only 14.7 percent of colleges currently use the quarterly calendar. Despite the lack of numbers, the quarterly system is actually more beneficial and accommodating for college students.
The quarter system gives students the opportunity to explore more classes and gain more experience to help them decide their future career path.
As of now, 50 percent of students who enter college are still undecided about their majors, and about 80 percent of students end up changing their major at least once.
Knowing that a student will most likely change their path, semester long classes would be more of a financial and time consuming burden once a student changes their mind.
By enforcing the quarterly calendar, students can quickly decide whether or not they like their major, and still change it without a great loss of time or money.
This also gives students the comfort of being able to explore and take more classes, leading them to pursue what they actually enjoy in life.
According to a 2010 New York Federal Reserve Bank study, only 27.3 percent of college graduates had a career that was related to their major at all.
If students were able to explore their options without the concerns of wasting more time or money, perhaps many more students would pursue careers that actually require their degree.
In addition to letting students discover themselves, the quarterly system makes double majors or minors easier to achieve. A quarterly system gives students the opportunities to take more classes, as it allows up to four regular periods of academic instruction.
Also, due to the shorter holiday breaks, It helps keep students focused and refreshed after returning from a holiday. Whereas a student who returns from a long holiday may have difficulty jumping back into the curriculum.
It is also not uncommon to fall into a class you may not enjoy. According to a poll conducted by the Herald at Brown University, about one fourth of the student body skips class at least once a week.
By creating shorter classes and more frequent classes, students don’t have to get stuck with something they may not particularly enjoy or struggle with as long, which can lead to higher class attendance.
Quarterly classes also encourage habits that are applicable and beneficial in future careers. With shorter classes, students have less time to complete assignments or tests, and are pushed to learn good time management habits and not to procrastinate. Also, the frequent change of environments and teachers help students learn to quickly adapt in different situations.
The semester system may be a traditional option, but the quarterly calendar is more accommodating for students by giving them the opportunity to pursue a career that they actually enjoy, leaving students more well rounded, letting them take advantage of college facilities, and instilling habits they can apply in the future.