Education

Illinois college aims to shorten courses in half to help students graduate faster

Illinois Central College aims to cut the time it takes to complete more than 70% of its courses from 16 weeks to eight weeks by 2026, according to a report from NBC affiliate station WEEK

An Illinois college has announced plans to make a major change to its course structure, cutting the length of its courses in half in a move it hopes will help students graduate faster.

Illinois Central College aims to cut the time it takes to complete more than 70% of its courses from 16 weeks to eight weeks by 2026, according to a report from NBC affiliate station WEEK.

Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Chuck Swaim, reportedly cited the fact that 70% of ICC’s students are part time and have at least one job as a major reason for the shift.

“They’ve got to intertwine [their] work schedule with their life schedule, with their education,” Swaim said. “The fewer courses [they] can handle at one time, the more chances they’re going to be successful.”

President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey also added that shortening the course length means students would be able to take more classes in a semester, which could help them graduate sooner. She also cited studies showing a higher rate of success for eight-week courses compared to 16 weeks.

“[It] lets students customize to their learning style and it really helps them think through where they might need a little extra time on task,” Quirk-Bailey said.

The change is one of several educational shifts being tested around the country, as some also begin exploring four-day school weeks.

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