Samford Samford will be phasing out Jan term in 2022 and is moving towardsa May term, according to an email from University Provost Michael Hardin.
“I wanted to update you today on a significant development. Last Thursday, I presented three academic calendars to the Academic Affairs Committee including a major change for 2022, when Samford will replace its traditional January term with a May term,” Hardin said in the weekly provost newsletter.
Jan term, which serves as a mini-term during the first three weeks of January, provides students with an accelerated option to complete a course. Being voluntary, students have the option to come back to school early or extend their Winter break.
Administration has been talking about changing Jan term for the past several years. Through discussions involving the president, vice presidents and deans,there was a unanimous vote to change the calendar, according to Hardin.
“As I mentioned in the faculty letter, eliminating Jan term and moving it to a May term is such a significant change, involving so many sensitive questions and campus-wide considerations, that it has been deliberated for years,” Hardin said.
The bulk of the affected individuals will be faculty and incoming students in the coming years. The university will provide support to faculty through the transition.
“I wanted to get this information to you as soon as possible. But on a more personal note, I want each of you to know that although I understand how each of you is eager to do what is best for Samford and its students, I also understand that this change will require significant adjustments for many of you,” Hardin said. “Our office will be available to facilitate the three-year transition and that we will welcome your feedback on those efforts in future faculty gatherings.”
The university has seen fewer students participate in Jan term in the past years, according to Hardin.
“For ten years our students have consistently and clearly voted against Jan term through steadily declining Jan term enrollment,” Hardin said.
With less students on campus, Samford wants to utilize time and space to best benefit students in the coming years.
“One prevailing thought among the group was that good stewardship dictated Samford make a scheduling change that accommodates this reality, rather than continuing to maintain an open, but almost-empty, January campus,” Hardin said.
Although the change is in response to the declining enrollment, some students are upset to see the term go away.
“Jan term is awesome because I am able to take any side electives or prerequisites in a shorter time but still get credit, so I can utilize the Fall and Spring for my classes for my major,” junior business major Ross Rochford said.
Jan term can be used by students not only to take courses, but to get an internship or work, all while still living on campus. The new May term will offer the same opportunities for future students, but in a format which will be tested and tweaked in the years following its launch in 2022.
Daniel Dodson, News Writer