4 undergraduate years + part of a 5th undergraduate year + one full MBA year = 18 quarters.

I have completed 18 quarters at Ohio State.  So, it should come as no surprise that the change to semesters part way through my second year in the WPMBA program has made me a little nervous.  With one summer term and almost one autumn term under my belt, I thought I’d share some of my initial thoughts on the change thus far:

What I Like So Far:

  • One class per night:  I know some of my fellow classmates don’t like this format, but I do.  I only have to think about one subject per night, which makes attending class after a long work day more manageable
  • Earlier evenings!  The difference between 9:15 and 9:48 may not seem like much, but trust me, it is!  That extra half hour is enough time to wind down before it’s time to hit the hay – or grab a beer at VC
  • More classes:  Because electives are split into 7 week terms instead of 10 week quarters, you get to take more classes in different subjects of your interest

What Will Take Some Getting Used To:

  • Longer class time:  Some professors are having a bit of a hard time adjusting to semesters – many of whom have taught in quarters for their entire academic career.  A three+ hour class is a lot of time to keep the class engaged, but I think this will improve over time
  • Syllabus restructuring: This is by far the biggest challenge.  Both of my classes this term are back-half heavy, meaning that I had very little I could work on in the first four weeks of the term.  Now, in the last three weeks, EVERYTHING is due.  I will need to plan for this in upcoming terms!

The transition to semesters was the right thing for the university – change is inevitable and it’s time we got on the same page as the rest of the country.  Ohio State and Fisher did an admirable job managing the transition – now it’s time for me to get with the change!

The Switch … it’s almost here!

On Tuesday, I attended a meeting focused on the big switch to semesters which is happening right around the corner.  Semesters will initially start this summer with a seven week term before the start of “Fall Semester” that will begin in the middle of August.  There’s a lot of work that goes into switching an entire program from a traditional 10 week schedule to a 7 or 14 week schedule.  There’s course plans available to show a sample outline of how to finish the program by when you started.  The advisers are doing a great job of trying to make this transition as seamless as possible.  Here’s a few of the nuggets I got out of the session:

  • Core classes will move to Mondays and Wednesdays.
  • Classes will be one night per week.  Instead of having class both Tuesday and Thursday evenings, classes will just be one night per week for a longer period of time (I think, she said 6:00 – 9:15)
  • Many of the elective classes will last 7 weeks.  Many of the core classes will last the full 14 weeks.
  • May session, which will last the month of May, will offer a “Workshop Core” or a project experience.  The workshop will focus on ethics, communication or other professional development topics.
  • The program will last slightly longer than previously, under the new curriculum, the program will finish up in slightly less than three years.
  • The electives will be structured so students could have a more clear concentration (if you want).
Overall, the switch to semesters seems pretty straight forward.  Another meeting will be held in late February to discuss class options.

Hi~~You have a call from the (614) area code

Hi, everyone.  Greetings from Shumin here at OSU in Columbus, Ohio.  Sorry for the delay of saying “hello” to everybody.  I just got my blogger account set up late this week, and I should say that it was pretty exciting to see my “head shot” photo shown on the website together with other bloggers.

I just went through a busy week.  It really surprised me that we’ve already had a lot of assignments coming due in our second week of school term.  Maybe this is one huge difference between schools with semesters and schools using quarters.  If you are from a school using semesters like I was, it will probably shock you that when you look at the class schedule and find out that fall mid-term exams are only four weeks from now.

Maybe I can share something more interesting with you next time – maybe about my first time watching a football game in person if  I am lucky enough to get a ticket to go to next Saturday’s game ^^)