Why is MSOE changing to semesters?
MSOE plans to implement a semester-based calendar at the beginning of the 2023-24 academic year. Faculty and staff will use the time until then to plan for the transition.
The move to a semester-based model comes as a result of MSOE’s strategic plan, which was developed by a cross-section of MSOE faculty, staff, students and alumni and approved by the Board of Regents. The plan called for MSOE to evaluate the current academic calendar model, as well as additional models, to ensure that the chosen model helps our students be successful in meeting their academic and professional goals while meeting the needs of our stakeholders (employers, corporate partners, alumni, etc.).
A task force was then convened to carry out this direction. After a year of researching all aspects of several academic calendar models, and soliciting input from MSOE stakeholders through meetings, surveys and interviews, the task force recommended that MSOE change to a semester-based model. Their recommendation was approved by the MSOE Leadership Team and is supported by the MSOE Board of Regents. The entire MSOE community is committed to working with each and every student to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible with no disruption to financial aid or time to completion.
- MSOE’s reputation for excellence is well known and its graduates are highly sought after for their quality, character, professionalism and ability to solve even the most complex challenges on day one.
- Even with this reputation and strong graduate outcomes, MSOE’s strategic plan challenges us to be extraordinary—modeling continuous improvement by seeking every possible advantage we can deliver as we prepare our students for a lifetime of professional and personal success.
- Our research has shown there is a movement toward the semester model for top-tier institutions with fewer than 10% of institutions like MSOE continuing to operate on a quarter system (down from 25% in the 1980s). MSOE’s application-oriented approach to teaching and learning is the main driver of our students’ success. Our approach will not change once we transition to a semester model. There are a number of factors that support this transition:
- Transfer students will find their transition and transfer of credits to MSOE to be smoother.
- The semester model will offer access to student exchange and study abroad opportunities with most international universities following a traditional semester model.
- The move to a semester model will better align with the needs of our industry partners.
- A semester-based calendar will not compromise time to degree or the expectations associated with an MSOE education. This transition will support student success by:
- Giving students the opportunity to digest what they are learning and dive deeper into the course content during additional time they’ll have for each course.
- Offering greater opportunity for high-impact educational practices and experiential learning.
- Allowing time within the academic calendar to recover from illness or other interruptions in their schedules.
- Offering interim terms in the future with additional study abroad opportunities and course offerings to improve student retention, success and persistence.
- A semester-based calendar will not impact MSOE’s traditional academic expectations or approach to teaching. Our students will continue to receive an application-oriented education and be prepared to hit the ground running.
- Our commitment to the MSOE Mindset will not change, and a semester-based calendar supports our belief that our students will become graduates who are leaders of character, responsible professionals, passionate learners and value creators.