For the first time in its history, The University of Texas-Pan American will be offering a miniterm or minimester following the end of the spring 2004 semester. Presented by Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Dr. John Edwards, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services, the minimester plan and budget recently received administrative approval and will run for three weeks - May 10-27.
While a standard college semester is 16 weeks, a minimester offers the equivalent amount of material and credit in a shortened, more concentrated period of instruction. Four of the University's colleges will participate in the minimester offering a total of 23 courses. The classes will meet Monday through Friday (no Saturdays) and be scheduled in the morning, afternoon and evening. Morning hours will be 8-11:30 a.m.; afternoon hours 1-4:30 p.m.; and evening hours 5:30-9 p.m.
UTPA's minimester will be comparable to the mini-terms or May-mesters that have been offered for some time at other universities across the country said Dennis McMillan, associate vice president for Enrollment and Student Services.
"This minimester will provide flexible scheduling options for students to give them an opportunity to quickly advance to the completion of a degree," he said. However, McMillan warned that because of their short time frame, the classes will be very intense.
"Missing one day of these classes will be comparable to missing one week during a regular fall or spring semester," McMillan said. "This is why students will be allowed to take only one course during the minimester."
The four colleges offering courses are the College of Arts and Humanities, College of Education, College of Business Administration and the College of Health Sciences and Human Services. Morning and afternoon classes will be directed to upper-level undergraduates and the evening classes will be primarily graduate education courses.
"The minimester gives the students another opportunity to take courses that are of high demand that may not be available in the summer. This allows them to move toward graduation faster," Arévalo said.
Anyone interested in minimester classes must have passed all sections of the TSI (Texas Success Initiative) exam or be TSI exempt. TSI (formerly TASP - Texas Academic Skills Program) requires minimum test scores in writing, reading and math skills. Also, a student wanting to enroll cannot be currently on academic probation.
Registration for the minimester courses will begin on March 22 for continuing students and run through the first day of the miniterm, May 10. There will be no registrations allowed after that. Tuition and fees will be assessed as first summer session classes and will be due the first day of the minimester.
McMillan pointed out that most of the facilities that are available during the regular semesters will be available for the minimester including the library, computer labs, student union and food service. Parking will be $10 for any combination of minimester and/or summer enrollment. Student housing will also be available in Bronc Village.
For more information on the classes offered or other questions concerning the spring minimester, contact Norma Gonzalez or Joni Thomas at 381-2206.