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The Antelope

Spring schedule to go before Board of Regents

The spring semester will kick off with a three-week intercession on Jan. 4, directly followed by the start of classes on Jan. 25.

UNK administration proposed a spring schedule that includes a three-week intercession with classes convening on Jan. 25. The proposal will go before the Nebraska University Board of Regents in their October meeting. 

Dr. Charles Bicak, the senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, sent a mass email of the proposal to students and faculty last Thursday, Sept. 3. 

“We have before the Board of Regents a proposal to craft two elements in the spring calendar,” said Dr. Bicak. “There would be a three-week session, January 4 to January 22, and then a full semester session from January 25 until May 7. May 7 is the original commencement day.”

Changes in the proposal include the removal of spring break and the addition of an optional, online three-week intercession before the semester officially starts where students may have the opportunity to take courses from any of the three academic colleges. 

Additionally, classes would not convene until Jan. 25.

Until the schedule is approved by the Board of Regents, there are no official plans for the intercession. After approval, faculty will have the option to offer courses.

“That three-week session could be an opportunity for the development of a fundamental skill, so for example, programming, computer programming in the cyber department,” said Dr. Bicak. “It could be project-based. It could be experiential learning. It could be a service activity.”

Dr. Bicak mentioned this period may also be an opportunity for students to take that one course they “just want to get out of the way.”

Despite the intention of being flexible and making safety a priority, some students are still upset with the removal of spring break.

“I personally don’t like it because I know a lot of students always look forward to going on a spring break trip,” said Truman Lauck, a junior mid-level math education major. “They look forward to having that break in between all of classes, whereas now, I don’t think we have any breaks at all spring semester. I think especially students need a break every once in a while.”

Lauck said he wants to be an administrator someday, so he was trying to keep an open mind about the changes.

“I feel like if I were in that position, I would also make the same call,” Lauck said.

In his interview, Dr. Bicak stressed this proposal is a pilot, meaning that this is the first time UNK is making these kinds of schedule arrangements. There is bound to be more feedback and improvements throughout the course of the spring semester. 

“If we can determine some ways to be flexible, maybe we’ll have created or invented some changes this year, spring especially, that will have staying power, and we’ll continue them. It’s a grand experiment.”

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