Academic Calendar

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Academic Calendar

The institution started in 1946 with a quarter system. October-December, January-March, April-June.

  • (October 13, 1976, The Daily Press) – “MVCC Board Mulls Proposal to Switch to Semester Plan – A proposal to switch the schedule at Mohawk Valley Community College from a quarterly to a semester calendar was discussed at yesterday’s meeting of the MVCC Board of Trustees.
College President George Robertson said an extensive study is being undertaken to examine the benefits of both calendars before any change is made. He recommended that no change be made until the 1977-78 school year.
The main advantage to a semester calendar, he said, was that MVCC would be on the same schedule as other schools in the North East and students would be able to transfer with a minimum of difficulty. He said MVCC and only one other school in the state are now using a quarterly calendar.
The problem with changing the calendar from the quarterly system, he said, was that the school’s cooperative education program might have to be curtailed or eliminated.
The cooperative program is run by the college and local businesses and permits students to spend a quarter of their school year working in a career-related business. …”

  • (Dec. 8, 1980, Observer-Dispatch) – “Join the Majority? MVCC Mulls Plan – Mohawk Valley Community College, one of the few colleges in the state which divides its school year into quarters rather than semesters, may go with the national trend beginning in 1982.
President George Robertson said that unless he receives ‘substantial written arguments to the contrary’ from faculty, administration and students by Dec. 15 he will recommend the change to the board of trustees at its January meeting.
‘This is a proposal that has been kicking around for several years,’ he said. ‘We receive a fairly constant stream of complaints from MVCC graduates who are experiencing difficulties in transferring to other schools.’ The current system may also be hindering the college’s recruitment efforts, he said.
Under the proposed system there would be 15-week semesters in the fall and spring instead of three 10-week quarters. The current summer program, which makes up the fourth quarter, would remain relatively unchanged.
The switch, Robertson said, would involve a major reshuffling of the college’s courses themselves as well as the schedule. Quarter courses would have to be combined or expanded to produce semester courses, he said, and this would be particularly troublesome in some of the technical programs, which are more easily broken down into quarters.
In any case virtually every course in the college would have to be modified for the new system….
An advantage of the change, he said, will be a savings in time and money. There will be only two registrations per year instead of three, he said, cutting down on paperwork and man hours in the registration and admission areas.
‘Three registrations each year give many people the impression of constant registration, testing, grading and record keeping,’ he said.
‘Also, since students are allowed to commence a program at each new registration period, the quarter system requires the college to run three concurrent staggered course sequences during each college year, rather than two.’
The result of this, he said, is smaller fragmented sections with smaller enrollments.
Although some research shows that students learn better when education is served up in small portions, he said, in the long run the ‘pressure cooker effect’ results in a lot of frantic activity where the students quickly forget what they learned.
‘Putting it quite simply,’ he said, ‘some believe that the quarter system is too hard on everyone for any benefit we may derive.’
For MVCC students the change will mean that their vacations and classes will coincide with those of other colleges, making it easier to plan vacations with students from other colleges and to take special classes at other colleges.
The synchronization is expected to increase the number of transfers and new students to the college.
‘The primary justification,’ Robertson said, ‘is so that the college may enjoy the benefits of alignment with the common practice of other colleges and schools in the state.’
If approved by the trustees next month the change would be effective in the fall of 1982.”

At the beginning of the 1982-1983 academic year (September 1982), the College changed its academic calendar from the quarter system to the semester system. The change was intended to make it easier for MVCC graduates to transfer into four-year institutions, and to produce a number of administrative economies. One of those was the discontinuance of Cooperative Education.