Students push for two-week January term

Besides going home or working over Winter Break, students could soon earn class credit in a January miniterm.The Student Government Association is working toward implementing the January term, or J-term. The J-term would be a 10-day period before spring semester when students could take classes and earn 1.5 to 3 hours of credit.

Justin Brown, a sophomore music and political science major and student relations chair for SGA, is working on the J-term project. Brown first heard about the J-term from Austin College, but other colleges such as DePauw University and the University of Virginia offer January terms as well.

“J-terms are successful at many other schools in the nation and would allow students another opportunity to take classes of interests, or prep class for the LSAT and MCAT, or even study abroad,” Brown said.

In March, SGA surveyed students through my.tcu.edu and found that 85 percent supported the creation of the J-term, Brown said.

“This is a significant amount which makes J-term a priority for SGA,” Brown said.

Ashley Alaniz, a sophomore business major, said she would like the J-term to become available to students, especially those who need the hours to graduate on time.

“I looked into taking a miniterm at a Dallas community college last January to get prerequisites I needed for business courses,” Alaniz said.

Amy Shuffield, a sophomore theater major, said although the idea of getting a few hours of credit in two weeks sounds ideal, she would not do it herself.

“I probably wouldn’t do it because I enjoy my break and like my time to rejuvenate before the semester,” Shuffield said.

Currently, SGA is planning to work with the Faculty Senate Students Relations Committee to set up the process of bringing J-terms to TCU, Brown said.

David Bedford, chair of the Student Relations Committee, said he could see the value in this if there is a real demand for it.

“It would allow people to get credit and help them stay on their four year schedule to graduate,” Bedford said. “It could help a number of people, but there has to be an interest for it.”

The exact dates of the J-term will be discussed once the program is closer to being in place, Brown said, but the term would not be implemented for next January because the academic schedule for a university is set well in advance.

“There are a lot of things involved in adding something this significant to the academic year, but I think it will help the university and its students,” Brown said. “By working on this now, we can get it for future students.