Below are answers to questions students may have about the calendar and credit hour changes. As Augsburg receives your feedback and additional questions, and as new information becomes available, this site will be updated. You may also contact your faculty adviser, the Academic Advising staff, or the Student Financial Services office for assistance.
Q. What is changing in 2013-14?
A. Calendar: Beginning in the 2013-14 academic year, Augsburg College will move all undergraduate and graduate programs to a unified semester calendar. Programs that are currently on a trimester calendar will move to a semester calendar, including Weekend College, the Rochester Undergraduate Program, MAE, MAL, MSW, MAN and DNP.
Credit system: The college’s credit system will change from a “one course = one credit” standard to a semester credit standard. Semester credits are used by the majority of colleges and universities in Minnesota. Currently one Augsburg course credit is equivalent to four semester credits. For undergraduate students, most courses in 2013-14 will now provide four semester credits. Graduate students should consult their program staff for more information about credit and curriculum changes.
Other changes: The class schedule will be adjusted – a few minutes will be added to each course in the Day Program, and some adult undergraduate courses may include a combination of face-to-face and online activities. The definition of full time and half time status will change for adult undergraduate students (see below for more information.)
Q. Why the change to semesters from trimesters?
A. New federal regulations will require all higher education institutions to meet certain guidelines with regard to the length of each academic term and the definition of a credit hour. Augsburg’s faculty have determined that the best way to meet these requirements is to move to a semester calendar for all programs. The change also makes it easier to ensure that campus services are available when students need them.
Q. Can you explain the changes that are being made to the semesters and trimesters?
A. All Augsburg undergraduate and graduate programs will be on a semester calendar beginning in Fall 2013. There will be a Fall Semester, a Spring Semester, and a semester-length Summer Session with flexible sub-term options such as 7 or 8 week courses. The 2013-14 Academic Calendar is now available on the Registrar’s Office web page.
Q. How will course credits change?
A. Augsburg has been using a course credit system in which one course equals four semester credits. Beginning in 2013-14, we will use a semester credit system. In all undergraduate programs, full-time status will be defined as enrollment in a minimum of 12 semester credits; half-time status will require a minimum of 6 semester credits. Most classes will be offered for either 3 or 4 semester credits each. In graduate programs, full-time status will require enrollment in 6 semester credits and half-time will be defined as at least 3 semester credits.
Students can search the 2013-14 course listings in AugNet Records & Registration to determine how many semester credits each course carries.
Q. Will WEC class times change? How will they change?
A. Students in the adult undergraduate programs (Weekend and Evening College) in Minneapolis and Rochester will see changes to the current class schedule. Weekday evening courses may meet once a week for 15 weeks, or every other week (as they do now in Rochester) with online activities required between class sessions. Weekend courses (Friday evening or Saturday) will continue to meet on alternate weekends with online activities required between class sessions. Augsburg’s adult undergraduate programs have always carried an expectation of independent study between class sessions; the new federal standards for the definition of a credit hour require the college to document those expectations consistently. Some majors will incorporate hybrid courses (a combination of face-to-face class sessions and online learning) more extensively than others; more intense courses of varying lengths (7 or 8 weeks) may be offered as well. See the Academic Calendar or talk to your faculty adviser for more information.
Q. Will classes still meet every other weekend?
A. Yes. For 2013-14, evening classes in Rochester and Friday/Saturday classes in Minneapolis will have 7 or 8 face-to-face sessions with online learning activities between class meetings. Weekday evening classes in Minneapolis may meet every week for 15 weeks or follow a hybrid schedule.
Q. How will this affect my financial aid eligibility?
A. According to the U.S. Department of Education, in order to be considered a full-time undergraduate student for 2013-14, a student must be enrolled in at least 12 semester credits per term. Half-time status is 6 to 11 credits per term. Since most undergraduate classes will be 4 credits each, a student would need to take 3 courses per term to be considered full-time; 2 courses per term would be considered half-time. Note that for graduate students, full-time status is a minimum of 6 credits per term, and half-time status is at least 3 credits per term.
Students who are enrolled at least half-time are eligible to borrow student loans (federal or private), and to have payments on previously-borrowed student loans deferred. However, students who qualify for state or federal grants such as the Pell Grant or Minnesota State Grant may find that the amount of the grant is adjusted based on the number of credits in which they are enrolled. Consult a counselor in Student Financial Services to get the details on your individual circumstances.
Q. Will this change mean that it takes longer to complete a degree?
A. This depends on your major or program of study and on how many credits you take each semester. Work closely with your faculty adviser to develop your degree plan.