Amarillo, TX - Amarillo College has announced they will be cutting most their courses in half.
The college has decided almost 90 percent their courses will be 8 weeks long instead of 16. Each semester will be remain 16 weeks long, but will be split into two eight week parts.
Students can split the amount of classes they take during a semester between the two parts, meaning they can take several courses for the first eight weeks and then different courses for the second eight weeks.
The college found that most of their classes are dropped between 9 to 12 weeks through the semester, so they decided to shorten class times to keep more students in school.
"We realized that we needed to change the way we were offering our courses to help the students we have and the 8 week courses are the way to do that to ensure that our students can complete, stay in school, learn more, and hopefully achieve a degree in and or transfer to a university," said President Russell Lowery-Hart.
He said the short times will also allow students to focus more. "Students actually learn more in an 8 week semester, they're more focused, their learning increases, and their likely hood of success increases as well, and that's one of the reasons why we're moving to an 8 week course is to ensure that our students have every opportunity to be successful," said Lowery-Hart.
Currently, students must be enrolled in 12 hours a semester to qualify for financial aid, meaning many part-time students don't receive assistance.
However, Dean of Liberal Arts Dan Ferguson says this new model will allow more students to receive financial aid. "What we would like to see is if students even part time students will take two classes maybe the first 8 weeks, two classes the second 8 weeks," Ferguson said. "That then makes that part time student a full time student which makes that student eligible for financial aid."
Many students said they like the new class lengths. Griselda Ramirez said she has taken classes like this before prefers it. "I think it's just better because you go every single day so you get to focus you don't have to wait a week and then you forget and then you have homework so you know you can come everyday listen to the same thing and it actually stays with you," Ramirez said. "It's just like high school to me and I'd rather do that so much better than come every other day or once a week."