Quarter to Semester Conversion

Why is Sinclair converting to a semester system?
All seventeen public colleges and universities in the state that are currently on quarters, including Sinclair, are changing to semesters in order to better facilitate transfer among ALL of the states institutions of higher education. A relatively common calendar among these institutions, as well as a direct transfer of the number of credit hours, will greatly benefit all students wishing to transfer.

What is the difference between a quarter system and a semester system?
Under both the quarter and the semester system, an academic year is approximately 32-33 weeks in length. A quarter system is comprised of three 11-week quarters, while a semester system is comprised of two 16-week semesters. Specifically, Sinclair will run a Fall and Spring semester - both will have 15 weeks of instruction and 1 week of finals. There will also continue to be a Summer session, which will be abbreviated to 12 weeks.

When will Sinclair make the transition to semesters?
Sinclair will begin semester terms in Fall 2012.

Who will be affected by the transition to semesters?
Any Sinclair students who will have taken classes prior to Fall 2012 and will continue to take classes during or after Fall 2012 will be affected by the transition.

Will I lose any credit hours under the Transition?
You will not lose any credit hours under the Transition. Your quarter hours will be multiplied by .67 to convert them to the equivalent number of semester hours.

How will students who start on quarters but who plan to graduate on semesters know which courses to take?
Each “transition” student needs to meet with academic advisor to complete an individualized transition plan called a MAP – My Advising Plan.

Will I be taking more classes under the semester system?

As in the current quarter system, that will depend on your goals.

Because semester courses will typically be 3 credit hours, as is currently the case, you will only need to take 4 courses to maintain a full load. However, because there are fewer terms in a semester system, you may wish to take more classes per term, in order to graduate "on-time."

Those students in cohort-based programs, such as many of the Life and Health Sciences programs or Paralegal, will be taking more courses per term in order to adhere to their graduation goal.

Please note that Sinclair will also be offering an 8 week smaller term (we will call these “mini-mesters”) within each term, including Summer. Taking courses in this format may help students reach their goals more quickly.

How will I fit all of the courses I would have taken in 3 quarters in to 2 semesters?
How will I fit all of the courses I would have taken in 3 quarters in to 2 semesters? You won't have to fit all the courses you would have taken in 3 quarters into 2 semesters because you won't be taking as many courses. Under semesters, everything is reduced by 1/3. If your academic program was 90 quarter credit hours, under semesters it will be 60 semester hours. Fewer hours = less courses. For example: Under the quarter system you may have been required to take ENG 111 and 112. Under a semester system you would be required to take ENG 1101.

Why do sequences need to be completed by Winter 2012 when the transition to semesters isn't taking place until Fall 2012?
We are recommending students finish their sequenced courses no later than Winter 2012 because the courses you need to finish the sequence may not be offered in Spring and/or Summer quarters. Even if they are offered, they may be in high demand and we don't want you to be closed out of them.

What if I am in the middle of a yearlong sequence of course when the college converts to semesters?

It is best to complete a three quarter sequence of courses under the quarter system or to wait until the sequence is offered on semesters.

If you are in the middle of a sequence when the change occurs, you will need to meet with your advisor to determine which course(s) you will need to complete the sequence. This could be a combination of semester course and what we are calling “bridge courses” that will be offered for a limited time. Meet with your advisor in the near future to map out a plan that helps you avoid being in the middle of a sequence when the transition occurs.

Will my quarter courses work as pre-requisites to the semester courses?
Yes! The academic department Chairpersons have worked diligently with the Office of Registration to ensure that the quarter courses will operate as pre-requisites to your Fall Semester courses. If you are experiencing any difficulty with this when registering - please call 512-3000.

When can I develop an individualized transition plan or MAP?
Now! Students should schedule an appointment with academic advisors to develop their MAP (My Academic Plan).

Where should students go to pull up a copy of the electronic MAP information?
When students log in to My.Sinclair.edu (the portal), there are six options of places they can go. One of those is the MAP. If a student has worked with an advisor to create a MAP, it will be available to them there.

What is the minimum number of hours a student must take in order to be considered full-time during semesters?
The number of credit hours a student needs to be full-time remains 12 hours.

What will tuition per credit hour be under Semesters?

If we look at tuition as of Summer Quarter 2012 and translate that tuition to a semester system, the per semester credit hour tuition would be $92.37 for In-County tuition rates and $139.62 for the In-State tuition rate.

The formula for determining that per credit hour charge is below. Using this formula one can see that the annual tuition costs will not rise.

Current In-Cty rate = $61.58
Multiply that by Full-Time Load of 45 quarter credit hours
Annual In-Cty Tuition = $61.58 x 45 = $2771.10
To convert to semesters we divide that by 30 semester credit hours
Annual In-Cty Tuition becomes = $2,771.10/ 30 = $92.37

It seems like I'll be paying a lot more than in quarters. I thought it wasn’t going to cost more?
On an annual basis, the amount you are paying in tuition will not change;* it’s just divided differently. If we look at a Montgomery County student taking 12 credit hours per term:
Quarter CostSemester Cost
Fall Quarter = $738.96Fall Semester = $1,108.44
Winter Quarter = $738.96Spring Semester = $1,108.44
Spring Quarter = $738.96 
Annual Tuition Total = $2,216.88Annual Tuition Total = $2,216.88
*As always, the institution reserves the right to increase tuition.

How will being on semesters affect my financial aid?
Just as with tuition, the most important thing you must remember about financial aid under semesters is that it will now be applied two times rather than three. If we assume nothing has changed about your financial aid eligibility, you will still receive the same amount of financial aid. So just as your tuition bill is larger, the amount of financial aid being applied to your account per term will also be larger.

Will being on semesters mean a larger refund check?
Remember, the overall amount of refund you receive will not be larger. You’re receiving the same amount—just split into two payments rather than three. QUARTERS: refund is budgeted to last 10 weeks or 2.5 months SEMESTERS: refund should be budgeted to last 16 weeks or 4 months

Since I am paying more at one time, it might be harder for me to come up with that all at once. Is there a payment plan I can join?
Yes! Sinclair offers a payment plan called FACTS. This plan will allow you to split your total payment up into smaller chunks. If you register and sign up for FACTS before June 16, 2012, you will be able to split your tuition costs for the fall 2012 semester into 5 payments. This is an excellent way to budget your payments. Visit the FACTS website for more information.

It seems like everything is about equal between quarters and semesters. Is there any cost savings under semesters?
Yes! Two semesters means you only buy books two times instead of three.

I've heard that courses will be offered in a different way under semesters. What will be different?
The major difference students will probably notice is related to the day of the week offerings. The large majority of courses will be offered in a MWF or TTH format. There will still be MW courses, but with small exception these will only take place after 5pm.

Why did Sinclair have to eliminate MW daytime classes?
Over the last decade Sinclair has grown significantly. This growth has resulted in something of a classroom crunch at peak times. By spreading the schedule throughout the week Sinclair can maximize its classroom utilization and therefore offer the necessary number of class sections to accommodate our student body.

TH?! What happened to R?
In order to make the schedule more intuitive for students and to avoid the frequent misunderstanding that TR stood for Thursday only, Sinclair will no longer refer to Thursday with the abbreviation of "R". Thursday will now be abbreviated "TH". A class that meets on Tuesday and Thursday will indicate this with "TTH".

It appears that the section numbers are now 3 digits. What do those 3 digits mean?
Absolutely nothing! Starting in Fall 2012, the section numbers associated with course sections have no particular meaning. They are randomly assigned numbers. They will be made up only of digits - no letters.

If the section numbers don't mean anything, how will students get information about the course sections?
All information that was formerly gleaned from the section number - time of day, day of the week, mode of delivery, location, special program, etc. is information that can be found in the information fields of the section. For example - a student will know that a course is taught online because the location of that section will indicate "WWW".

I noticed on the calendar that there is an Evaluation Week. What is Evaluation Week?
Under the Semester Calendar, the final week of the term will be used for evaluation of learning. At many institutions this is referred to as "Finals Week." Because a "Final" often denotes an examination, the label "Finals Week" is not inclusive of other forms of end of term evaluation of learning such as presentations or portfolios. Regardless of the name, the last week of the semester is dedicated to evaluation of learning.

Does having an Evaluation Week mean that all courses will give comprehensive final exams?
During the final week of the semester, all course sections will participate in an Evaluation Week. How student accomplishment is to be evaluated is a judgment made by the faculty of the department. This week provides time for conducting exams but also for presentations, portfolio reviews and other means of evaluating student learning.

Will new material be introduced during Evaluation Week?
No. It is not the purpose of this week to introduce new material. The only exception to this is if unscheduled college closing or other unavoidable circumstances resulted in reduced class meeting time and make-up is need to cover the learning outcomes of the course or to satisfy seat time requirements of applicable accrediting bodies.

Will Sinclair's Evaluation Week require students to come to campus at times other than when their courses were regularly scheduled?
No. While each course section will have an assigned day on which its evaluation is conducted, this assigned time/day will begin and end at the times the class regularly began and ended throughout the term.

How will students know when their courses are scheduled to meet during Evaluation Week?
The schedule of evaluations will be posted on www.sinclair.edu for students to access. However, the date of the mandatory meeting time as well as additional class sessions during Evaluation Week that faculty wish to require students to attend will be listed on the course syllabus distributed at the first class session or on the first day of the semester for online courses. Should an instructor intend to use multiple days of the Evaluation Week to conduct evaluations, this information will be shared with students via the syllabus.

Can I see the Evaluation Week schedule now?
Yes. You can view the Evaluation Week Schedule by clicking on the question above.

When does registration for Fall 2012 begin?
May 23

When will students be able to see the Fall schedule
May 15

When will classes begin and end under the semester system?
In general, Fall semester courses will begin in mid-August and end in Mid-December. Spring semester will begin in early January and end in early May. The Summer semester will begin mid-May and end late-July.