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EPCC Faculty Senate Expresses Serious Concerns about Academic Calendar Changes


The EPCC Faculty Senate expressed concerns over the 2024-2025 academic calendar including the lack of faculty involvement, possible decline in student retention, and effectiveness at their monthly meeting Feb. 12 at the Northwest campus.


The changed academic calendar experiment will continue through 2024-2025, but the faculty senate voted to support two five-week summer sessions instead of two four-week sessions.


The EPCC administration changed the 2023-2024 academic calendar to begin fall semester a week later, thus shortening the winter session to four weeks instead of five because the start of spring was not moved back. This also affected summer sessions, turning them into four-week sessions instead of five.


EPCC faculty expressed their concerns with this change in the calendar through their faculty senators, who shared these opinions with Vice President of Instruction Steve Smith.


“A lot of faculty have expressed to me, to their senators, we want to go back to the schedule the way it was before this,” Faculty Senate President Albert Burnham said in a short interview.


The administration made this change for high school graduates to be able to register for the fall semester.


Faculty senators want to know if this goal was achieved and if it was worth shortening other sessions.


Vice President Smith explained at the meeting that the data is not in yet, so there is not a way to measure the effectiveness of the change.


Faculty are also concerned with how shortening the winter and summer sessions will affect student’s retention rate in class. Many pointed out that five weeks was a short time to learn 16-weeks’ worth of material, let alone four weeks.


Faculty are not currently involved in deciding the academic calendar. Burnham said that faculty were not consulted on this decision.


“I didn’t care for that and a lot other faculty, and we weren't consulted on this. We were basically told ‘oh, here’s the new schedule,’” he said.


The senate expressed their concerns to Vice President Smith, Vice President of Student Enrollment Services Carlos Amaya, and Executive Director of Admissions Cassandra LaChica-Chavez. 


Faculty Senate President Burnham is optimistic that the administration will be open to hearing and acting on the faculty’s concerns.

“We’ve expressed our concerns, and like I say, the administration is kind of open, you know, they don’t always agree with us, but they have been very open to various other issues,” said Burnham.

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