By Michael Ranger
Any Humber students who have found the fall semesters too stressful will be find some relief starting next year.
Humber College officially informed students about a modification to the academic calendar this week.
The college will include a week off during the fall semester starting this year. Humber students will now get a reading break in both semesters as opposed to just having the one week break in February.
The fall break in 2019 will occur the week of Monday Oct. 21 which is the week following Thanksgiving. While the break will give students some possibly needed relief it will also push the semester further into December shortening the Christmas break.
Associate Vice-President Academic of Humber College, Gina Antonacci, said that the new schedule will allow for everyone at Humber to take a “deep breath in the middle of every semester to assess the learning that has taken place.”
Most other colleges and universities in Ontario already implement the 7-1-7 structure for the fall semester. 7-1-7 meaning, seven weeks of classes followed by a week off followed by seven more weeks of classes.
Antonacci assured that several things were considered before the decision was made to officially move ahead with the change.
“It was a journey to examine the various people that would be impacted by it,” she said. “We really studied this for a long time, we looked at all of the issues and eventualities.”
An email sent to Humber students on Monday cited “multiple surveys” and said that “an overwhelming majority of students” who responded to the survey questions said that they would find the fall break beneficial.
Antonacci also mentioned that members of the faculty and support staff were polled about the anticipation of a fall reading week as well.
“Again, we got an overwhelmingly positive response,” she said. According to her the feedback from faculty and staff was that the fall break “would be advantageous to the student experience but would also support faculty in the work that they do.”
Not every student is overly thrilled with the news.
“For my program I could definitely use the break right now,” said third year film student Wyatt Miller. Miller says the film program tends to be more difficult in the winter semester. “Come fall I don’t think I’d need it,” he said.
Monday’s email to students also mentioned that the new changes align with the Humber 2018-2023 Strategic Plan.
The new system aligns specifically with the health and wellness pillar of the Plan and Antonacci says it underlines the importance to “address our health and wellness every semester and not just in the winter.”
The 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, according to Humber’s website, was designed to transform “postsecondary education through global and polytechnic leadership” and its mission is to help Humber develop “global citizens with the knowledge and skills to lead and innovate.”
“It’s about ensuring that we are thoughtful and reflective in the manner in which we teach and in the manner in which we learn,” said Antonacci. “All of that is critical for student success.”
The 2019-2020 Academic Calendar can be seen here.