Home Page Image
  The "Academic Calendar" covers the entire period from the beginning of one Fall semester to the beginning of the subsequent Fall semester, including holidays, breaks, intersessions and Summer sessions.

Links of Interest

Academic Calendar Concept Paper
          Presented at the Joint CIO/CSSO Conference March 2006, this paper is an essential starting place to understand
          the background on how compressed calendars are implemented in the California Community College system.  
          Included are basic principles, definitions, a review of regulations and relevant Title V sections.

California Community Colleges Student Attendance Accounting Manual
          This 2008 document duplicates much of the Academic Calendar Concept Paper linked above, but includes
          worksheets for calculating scheduling patterns for weekly census procedure courses.  Browse this paper to get an
          idea of how various courses might be scheduled differently within a compressed calendar.

California Community Colleges Using Alternative/Compressed Calendars
          This is the official list of California Community Colleges that have applied for and been granted permission to
          compress their calendars.  This handy 2-page list also includes which colleges offer winter and summer

California Regulations "College Year"
          Here’s a copy of the administrative code Title 5, Section #55701 which states that an academic year may not be
          less than 32 weeks per year.  This means that a semester may not be scheduled for less than 16 weeks.

SRJC Current Class Schedule Template
          SRJC Board policy 3.14.1P shows the current class schedule template, which would change under a
          compressed calendar.


Recommended Reading

Beachler, J. (2003, April). Results of the Alternative Calendar Survey: A survey of the faculty, classified staff and
      administrators at California community colleges that have moved from an 18-week semester to a compressed
(ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 479971) Retrieved from ERIC Plus Text database.
           Results of Los Rios CCD survey of California Community Colleges that have moved to a compressed calendar. 
           Faculty, classified staff and administrators from 29 colleges responded to a survey about the impact of
           converting to a compressed calendar.  Results demonstrate pros and cons to a wide variety of issues including
           quality of instruction, class participation and persistence.  Other issues discussed include flexibility in teaching
           schedules, time for curriculum development and course preparation, and effects on anxiety and stress.

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. (2000, April). Alternative calendars: Recommendations and
      a progress report
           A series of recommendations for colleges considering alternative calendars and a set of frequently asked
           questions regarding alternative calendars, and their answers.

Three-year study of success and retention rates prior to and after converting to an alternative/compressed calendar
. (2005, November). Retrieved from Chaffey College, Institutional Research Web site:
           Compares student success rates at each of 31 California CCs by comparing three-year period prior to and
           following implementation of a semester length compressed calendar. Success rates presented by college, by
           TOP code, and basic skills status. List provides names of compressed calendar colleges.

           Note: search results also found a February 2006 document entitled “Two-Year Study of FTES Prior to and After
           Converting to an Alternative/Compressed Calendar System” at this college OIR site.

Travenick, Ron.  The Ohlone Story.
      This document summarizes the experience Ohlone Community College had compressing their schedule from 18-
      week semesters to 16-week semesters.  The author is the Vice President of Student Services at Ohlone and
      submitted this as part of the District's accreditation report.


Additional References

Academic calendar transition study. (2009, Spring). Retrieved from Porterville College, Academic Senate Web site:
      http://www.pc.cc.ca.us/research/Files/survey reports/Calendar Study Report.pdf
           Results of study of transition from 17.5 to 16-week compressed calendar at Porterville College in fall 2006. Study
           compares impact on student success by comparing academic years 2004-05 and 2005-06 before transition to
           years 2006-07 and 2007-08 after change to calendar. Results from brief faculty survey of pedagogical issues
           also included.

Academic Senate. (2007, May). Los Medanos College Academic Senate: Draft Minutes 05/14/07. Paper presented at
      Los Medanos College, Room 223, Los Medanos College. Retrieved August 31, 2009 from:
           Draft minutes detailing discussion at Academic Senate of impact of proposed compressed calendar on nursing
           program, nontraditional students, and student preferences for compressed calendar.

Austin, A. M., & Gustafson, L. (2006). Impact of course length on student learning. Journal of Economics and Finance
, 5(1), 26-37. Retrieved from http://www.jeandfe.org/: 
           The link between course length and student learning is investigated using a database of over 45,000
           observations from Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters at the University of West Georgia.  After controlling for
           student demographics and other characteristics, research found that intensive courses result in higher grades
           than traditional 16-week semester length courses and that this benefit peaks at about 4 weeks.  By evaluating
           future performance the research concludes that the higher grades reflect a real increase in knowledge and are
           not the result of a “lowering of the bar” during summer.

Carley, M. (2002, May). Community college compressed calendars: Results of a student survey and a faculty survey.
      Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Research and Planning Group for the California Community Colleges,
      Pacific Grove, CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED466740) Retrieved August 26, 2009, from ERIC
      Plus Text database.
           Abstract from document:
           This document reports that many community colleges are considering changes in their traditional semester
           calendars. In California, the most common question facing colleges is whether to switch from the traditional (in
           California) 18-week semester to a 16-week one. This paper details the results of a student and faculty survey
           conducted at Porterville College, a small community college in central California on the compressed calendar
           and related issues. The student survey was divided into four sections: obstacles to class attendance, days and
           times classes are scheduled, summer and winter classes, and class and semester preferences. More than 70%
           of students surveyed indicated they would be more likely to take summer school classes if more were offered and
           62% of students expressed a preference for a 16-week schedule. In addition, 82 full-time and adjunct faculty
           members completed a survey that gauged their willingness to teach summer classes, Friday block classes, and
           winter intercession courses. Close to half of the faculty surveyed were willing to teach in the early summer, winter
           intercession, or on Fridays. Less than 30% expressed a willingness to teach the second summer session in late
           July. Appended are the two survey instruments. (Contains 12 charts and 2 references.) (RC)

Committee on compressed calendar summary for faculty senate. (2005, May 6). Retrieved from Ohlone College Web
      site: http://www.ohlone.edu/org/facultysenate/oldmins/compressedcalendarfindings.pdf
           Provides assumptions based on other reports. Covers topics including course and academic calendar
           scheduling. Input from classified staff, faculty in specific disciplines, counselors. Includes comments pro and con.
           Many lengthy comments from faculty who have experience working at other community colleges already on
           compressed calendars.

Compressed calendar frequently asked questions [Fact sheet]. (2006, March 7). Retrieved August 31, 2009, from Los
      Rios College Federation of Teachers Web site: http://www.lrcft.org/GoDocUserFiles/CompressedCalendar.pdf
           FAQ sheet from faculty union addressing questions concerning primarily faculty workload issues when changing
           to a 16-week compressed calendar.

Compressed calendar : Frequently asked questions [Fact sheet]. (2008, August 22). Retrieved August 31, 2009, from
      Long Beach City College Web site: http://oas.lbcc.edu/16w/faq.pdf
           FAQ sheet from Long Beach CC detaining typical questions and answers to proposed 16 week compressed
           academic calendar. Topics include class hour vs. clock hour, scheduling patterns, implications for
           apportionment, flex days, changes to curriculum/necessitating curriculum committee involvement.

Exploring M. SAC’s new compressed calendar. (2006). Retrieved August 31, 2009, from Mt. San Antonio College Web
      site: http://www.mtsac.edu/promos/calendar_faqs.pdf
           Publication presenting FAQs primarily addressed to student concerns. Focuses on opportunities and positive
           outcomes for students as a result of Mt. SAC’s transition to a compressed calendar.

Lawson, R., & Nixon, J. (2008, November 21). Academic calendar: Best practices. Presentation presented at CCLC
      Annual Convention, Anaheim, CA.
           PowerPoint presentation detailing history of compressed calendar development at California community
           colleges including reference to specific sections of Title V revisions. Identifies issues, presents guidelines,
           calculations for term length and FTES, scheduling examples.

Logan, R., & Geltner, P. (2000, April 4). The Influence of session length on student success. Retrieved from Santa
      Monica College, Office of Institutional Research Web site:

           Reports on how teaching patterns serve students in meeting academic needs. Specifically explores use of 6- and
           8-week sessions and finds that students have higher success rates in these short sessions. Uses data collected
           from fall 1994 - summer 1999.

San Diego Community College District Office of Institutional Research. (n.d.). 16-Week schedule faculty survey results.
      Retrieved from http://www.gavilan.edu/research/reports/faculty_sched_results.pdf
           Survey reports on faculty opinions regarding 18- vs. 16-week academic calendar. Areas covered include 16- vs.
           18-week schedule, start date, quality of education, affect on ability to balance work/issues, intersession options,
           short term class option, availability of additional morning classes, weekend classes, and educational goal

Sheldon, C. Q., & Durdella, N. R. (2010). Success rates for students taking compressed and regular length
      developmental courses in the community college. Community College Journal of Research and Practice 34(1),
      39-54. doi:10.1080/:  /senate_SheldonDurdella.pdf
           Using historical enrollment data from a large, suburban community college in southern California, this study
           examines the relationship between course length and course success in developmental education when social
           and academic background characteristics are controlled. Results demonstrate that developmental course length
           was associated with statistically and practically significant differences in course success observed across all
           categories of age, gender, and ethnicity. Students enrolled in compressed-format courses were more likely to
           succeed than students enrolled in regular-length courses. Higher successful course completion rates for
           compressed courses were observed across all departments. Findings point to an educational benefit for students
           who enroll in compressed courses.

Spurling, S. (2001, May 2). Compression of semesters or intensity of study: What is it that increates student success?
      Retrieved from Eric PlusText database. (ED467474)
           From the abstract: “This paper presents evidence for the effectiveness of both the intensity and compression
           hypotheses and performance of students in English, Mathematics, and ESL classes during a compressed
           summer term as well as from students enrolled in concurrent course sequences during spring and fall terms. It
           was found that both compression and intensity positively influence student success independently of each other.
           The implications of this research for course scheduling are discussed.”

Wetstein, M., & Nguyen, A. (2008, February). California community colleges on compressed calendars: FTES, success,
      and retention rates before and after compression
. Retrieved from San Joaquin Delta College, Office of Planning,
      Research & Regional Education Web site:
          This brief report highlights findings from a study of 33 community colleges that made the transition to shorter
          semesters weeks between 2001 and 2002.  All colleges surveyed transitioned to 16 week semesters and offered
          summer intersessions.  27 of those colleges also included winter intersessions.  Results indicated no significant
          differences before and after the change in calendars in terms of FTES.  However, results revealed “significant
          mean differences in success rates and retention rates before and after the switch to compressed semesters”
          including a 1.5% increase in student success, and a 1.5% increase in student retention.   

Willett, T., & Miller, K. (2004, December 7). Faculty schedule preference survey results. Retrieved from Gavilan College,
      Office of Institutional Research Web site: http://www.gavilan.edu/research/reports/faculty_sched_results.pdf
           Survey report published at Gavilan College website in which 69 of 199 faculty responded to survey regarding
           switch from 18- to 16-week academic calendar. Most faculty favored the switch and desired quick
           implementation. Benefits perceived include improving student and faculty environment, being more competitive
           with other colleges. Concerns revolved around smooth implementation more so than potential scheduling

Workgroup of System Office and Chief Instructional Officers Representatives. (2006, March). Academic calendars,
      scheduling, and related topics : concept paper
. Paper presented at Joint CIO/Conference. Retrieved August 31,
      2009, from http://www.cccco.edu/Portals/4/CFFP/Fiscal/Allocations/manuals/CompressedCalendar
           As stated in abstract to paper, “The objective of this Concept Paper is to enhance dialog between the System
           Office and the Community College Districts on standardization strategies related to course scheduling, flex
           calendars, and academic calendar compression.”
           Includes thorough review of regulations relating to compressed calendars.

back to homepage