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Students facing three semesters, shortened summers starting fall 2019

Algonquin will be adopting a three semester school year as of fall 2019 for many of its programs.

“The Student’s Association, working with the college has been inquiring about this possibility for some time,” said the college’s vice-president academic Claude Brulé. “This was in part because of the wish for a study break to be implemented in the fall semester.”

Currently, if you’re in a two-year program and you do your first semester in the fall and second semester in the winter, you would come back the following fall for semester three and then finish semester four in the winter. Between semesters two and three, students get their summer break from late April to early September.

But with the newly structured year, that break might look different.

“Not everybody operates like this; some of our other programs have intakes that start in the winter and their level two is in the summer and their break is in the fall. There are different patterns,” Brulé said. “What we’re looking for is to have the ability to have more activity in the summer that would allow someone to either accelerate their studies or would allow us to make more use of the summer.”

The school is in the process of trying to rearrange the fall semester to include a reading week. Currently, the fall semester has 15 weeks; the newly-structured semester will be 14 weeks with a reading week.

So far, the school has not received much feedback from students on the newly structured school year.

“Our dean of hospitality and tourism [Jim Kyte] has been tasked by me to put together a small working group to surface all of these considerations,” Brulé said.

The reason the newly structured year will not be implemented for the 2018 fall semester is because the calendar for 2018-2019 has already been drawn up.

Some programs will be restructured to accommodate this new semester plan, said Brulé.

“We have some programs that have already gone down this route where they have taken their two-year diploma program and compressed it into one year,” said Brulé

Not all of the college’s programs will be affected by this change though. One clear exception to this change will be the apprenticeship program, although the majority will be on this new three semester-schedule.

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