In the most recent edition of the Times Delphic, there was an article about the possibility of Jterm being turned into May-Term. Read that article for more information regarding the specifics.
At some point in their academic career, most Drake students will take a J-Term class. I am one of those students. I am also going to be taking a formal may term course this summer (Holocaust and Herritage). As a student who is unable to take a full semester abroad, travel-abroad terms like these are an amazing thing that Drake has to offer. They allow for students like me, or students who cannot afford a full semester abroad, to have this chance to learn from across the world.
However, one thing that students are concerned about with the new May-Term is the possibility of chances like these being taken away from students. Not everyone has the ability to go on a May-Term abroad for several reasons. One such reason could be internships, which take up a majority of student time over breaks. Another would be work. Most students leave the academic year to return home for summer jobs. By taking away a viable option for those who want to go abroad during January, Drake is not allowing students to fully use opportunities that they could be.
While this is an opinion piece, I am including other’s opinions on my thoughts. When I overheard my peers in class talk about the possible May-Term in class, this was one of the points that they brought up. They also mentioned that the possibility of only offering a May-Term overwhelms them. This is something that I have to agree with: by only offering a May-Term, students do not have an adequate break from school. They would go right back into class after finals instead of taking a well deserved break. With J-terms being in January, students have at least 2 weeks to relax before they get back into one class. With a May term, this would not be the case.
Another concern about moving J-Term is getting enough credits. Plenty of students- myself included- look to local community colleges for summer courses that will transfer over to Drake. Not many community colleges offer courses over January, which might make it harder for students to take courses. This makes it harder for students to major/minor in multiple subjects that might not be related to one another. Additionally, moving J-Term to May will discourage students from expanding their horizons when it comes to courses they take. For example, I know plenty of students who take a J-Term as the chance to take a course in a field they do not get the opportunity to do in the school year.
When taking this perspective, and including the reason that I mentioned previously (colleges not offering winter courses), students who want to take more courses are unable to do so through Drake. Personally, I think the system that is implemented at Drake right now is the best way to go. By offering both J Term and summer courses, the university is appealing to most students who are looking to take more courses than a regular semester will allow. As we are the ones paying tuition, we have a right to use the resources given to us at the times that are best for us, and J-Term being in January is a good place to start.