Today RIT announced that in the fall of 2013 it will be switching from the current quarter system to a semester system. While many students are big fans of the quarter system and upset about the change, I cannot be happier to see it go! Personally, I dislike the quarter system (a lot) and even though I will be long gone by the time semesters are implemented, I am very happy that RIT is making the change!
My first year at St. Lawrence, I followed a semester calendar and making the switch to the quarter system here at RIT was quite a shock to the system. People warned me about the fast pace and crazy schedule but I didn't know what they meant until I got here. The quarter system is indeed a very fast paced learning environment, with only 10 weeks of classes and an 11th week of exams. I think it feels more like 10 weeks of stress and an 11th week of cramming, to be honest.
I think semesters give students more time to absorb the information we learn in class and provide the opportunity to study and complete projects with ample time. Something that simply isn't available in a 10 week period. On the current schedule, I always feel rushed and like I don't have the time to complete my projects to the best of my ability, which is frustrating. Until you get to RIT, you don't realize what a difference 5 weeks makes!
As someone who has experienced both quarters and semesters, I have to say that this is a great move for RIT and one that future students won't be able to appreciate fully (without experiencing the chaos that is the quarter system)!
You can read what President Destler has to say about the change here.