A multi-sectoral forum, hosted by the University Student Government Office of the Vice President for Internal Affairs, Office of the Vice President for External Affairs, and the Political Science Society, was held last January 29 to discuss the guidelines for the upcoming special term as well as to answer further queries on the matter.
The special term, set to take place between the third term of AY 2014-2015 and the first term of AY 2015-2016, is a transitory term that allows graduating students to finish their studies earlier in light of the calendar shift.
Unlike a regular term that lasts 14 weeks, the special term will only span 11 weeks, starting the first week of May and ending on the last week of July, with the next academic year officially starting on the last week of August.
Despite the advantages of the special term, many students have raised doubts on whether the given time is sufficient to complete their required practicum hours and undergraduate thesis.
University Registrar Voltaire Mistades responded to these concerns, clarifying that although classes will only be conducted for 11 weeks, submission of grades will be extended beyond that in order to give graduating students time to finish their practicum and thesis.
With regards to the availability of courses on the term, Mistades said that departments will consider offering them should a sufficient number of students petition for the course. He acknowledged, however, that some degree programs have limitations, but assured that discussions are currently underway to address these concerns.
As for shifting concerns, Mistades explained that as long as students have already been accepted in their shifted program, they can already begin taking courses in their new program during the special term, provided that the course is offered at the time.
With regards to the graduation schedule, Mistades said that an announcement will be made within a few weeks, as the office is currently assessing the number of potential graduates by the special term. Mistades explained that they are ascertaining whether the graduates will be a sufficient number to hold the commencement exercises.
Otherwise, the activity will not be held, and the graduates would instead join those graduating on the first term in the following academic year.