ERIC Number: ED413973
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
The Educational, Fiscal, and Access Implications of the Fall Academic Calendar. The Report of the Academic Calendar Task Force.
Armstrong, William B.
In 1991, California's San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) formed a task force to investigate the effects of adopting academic calendars that end either before or after the winter holidays. To gather information, the task force performed a grade distribution analysis among district college students to determine the impact of fall semester end dates on student performance. In addition, two surveys were conducted: one queried 19 California community college districts that had switched calendar starting and ending dates within the past decade; one asked approximately 10,000 continuing students registering in fall 1991 of their calendar preferences. Results of the study, based on responses from 11 districts and 9,807 students, included the following: (1) semester start and end dates had little effect on student performance, course drops, or withdrawal patterns; (2) factors that influenced districts to change calendars included faculty desire to complete the fall semester before the winter break, improved transferability and summer labor market for students, and improved professional development for faculty; (3) districtwide, 53% of student respondents preferred starting early and ending the semester before winter break, while 24% preferred starting late; and (4) among those preferring an early start, the strongest preference was for a semester beginning in mid-August and ending in mid-December. Appendixes provide tables showing student responses by SDCCD college, the student and district survey instruments, and district responses. (BCY)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: San Diego Community Coll. District, CA. Research and Planning.