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Monday, January 31,2011

OU releases guidelines for semester transition

By Alexander Marietta
Ohio University’s Quarters to Semesters Transition Office released a draft of guidelines for transition students and programs last week. The draft addresses specific methods for the transitioning of OU from quarters to semesters in the fall of 2012.

According to the document, its goal is to “provide the framework, policies and procedures that will be used for constructing the degree completion plans for the students who will have taken courses in quarters and will graduate under the semester calendar.”

This will apply to most current freshmen and sophomores, and many upperclassmen as well.

Students affected by the transition to semesters will have to complete Transition Degree Completion Plans (TDCP) in order to graduate. The TDCP will act as a contract between students and the university to “literally translate the students’ program from the quarter-based requirements to the semester-based equivalent,” according to the document.

The TDCP requires students to map out which courses he or she will need to take after the university moves to semester-based programs. Options will include direct transition courses and hybrid programs to fulfill degree requirements.

Transition tables listing course equivalents between quarters and semesters will begin to be generated winter quarter 2011.

The quarters-to-semesters guidelines draft emphasizes the two main goals of the transition plans: that no OU transition student will be delayed in completing his or her degree, and that no transition student will face increased costs for degree completion due to transitioning to semesters.

According to the draft, to graduate on time, transition students must maintain a full-time course load, earn passing grades, meet with their advisers, and satisfy other requirements specific to their degrees.

The draft plan is directed toward advisers and staff who work closely with students in order to help them assist transition students in completing the newly devised TDCP.

Tuition, fees, financial aid and scholarships will be divided between the two semesters instead of three quarters with the transition. Monthly payment plans will be available to students.

Any student who feels he or she has not been able to complete his or her degree on time or incurred increased costs will be able to use an appeals process to address these grievances.

Each student will have an opportunity to meet individually with an adviser to receive and examine the TDCP. Each college will have authority to decide how its students complete the TDCP.

Beginning next fall quarter, advisers may meet with students to plan completion of degrees. According to the current draft, most transition advising will take place winter and spring quarters next school year.

The current draft highlights key aspects of the transition process, including the continued use of the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) to track students’ progression of completed degree requirements.

All coursework will be referred to in semester form beginning in 2012. This will be reflected in students’ DARS as equivalencies are made and approved.

The Quarters to Semesters Transition Office will work with departments to meet the goals listed in the guidelines.

The university community may submit comments and suggestions concerning the current draft until Feb. 7, 2011. A final version of the guidelines will be released in March.

The draft of the guidelines is available at


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