J-Term housing not cost-effective, officials say

By on February 2, 2011

Quinnipiac did not offer housing for students taking J-Term classes over winter break, and according to academic and residential administrators, it is expected to remain that way.

According to Mark Thompson, senior vice president for academic and student affairs, opening up a housing option for the new January term of classes would not be worth it.

“Given the small number of students enrolled in the on-ground courses, it is not cost-effective to open residence halls for this period of time,” Thompson said.

Out of the 13 courses offered in the Registrar’s course bulletin, seven courses were specified to take place on the Mount Carmel campus. The remaining were at the North Haven campus, online or off campus such as “Inside Washington, D.C.” that took place at the nation’s capital. SB360 gave students the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua.

“Given the small number of students enrolled in the on-ground courses, it is not cost-effective to open residence halls for this period of time.” Mark Thompson, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

Most on-campus course registration was capped at 20 students.

“There are lots of facts that would have to be considered,” Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residential Life Cindy Long Porter said of modifying J-Term housing options. “We do need to have staff and provide services if there were individuals staying on campus.”

No housing option for J-Term will likely remain, Porter said.

“It depends on the direction the university wants to go in, and right now it doesn’t,” Porter said.

J-Term was created this year to give students an opportunity to take a class while studying abroad or take an online course the student previously failed, according to Thompson.

Changing the current rule would be difficult, Porter said, but if it needed to be looked over, the school would entertain the thought.

“As a student taking a class during intercession, I believe the university should give permission for students to live in their dorm,” senior Beth King said. “I think that it is very unfair since classes taken during intercession are expensive anyway.”

Besides on-campus, online and study abroad courses in the J-Term, there were also hybrid courses available to students, consisting of a mix between online work and meeting on campus.

Visiting instructor of psychology Sandra K. Soucie offered one such hybrid course. Her “Child & Adolescent” course required students to spend 11 hours per week on campus and about four hours online.

Since the rate of enrollment was almost full at 18 students, there seemed to be a considerable amount of student interest, Soucie said, but the winter weather made attendance difficult.

“Considering that the course takes place during a time of unfavorable weather, class cancellations seem inevitable,” Soucie said. “In a course where we only met on-ground nine times during the whole course, multiple cancellations meant missing a significant amount of lecture time (four hours a day).”

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