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More than 400 Students Enrolled in First J-Term

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
January 13, 2010

The first January term (J-term) at UNH gave students the chance to earn one to four credits during a three-week semester. Held during the traditional winter break, the J-term began Jan. 4 and ends Jan. 22.

Twenty-seven undergraduate and eight graduate courses were offered. Enrollment exceeded expectations with 381 undergrads and 63 grads, degree and non-degree students, registering for classes.

“Ultimately, the success of this concept will be dependent on how well these courses meet the needs of our students so we will have to see not just how many students took these courses, but whether these courses met our students' expectations,” says Mark Rubinstein, vice president for student and academic services.

Classes were conducted at the Durham and Manchester campuses online, through distance-learning and in classrooms. Enrollment was open to part-time, full-time and continuing education students.

Political science professor Melvin Dubnick says he’s been interested in UNH offering a January term for a few years now. He is teaching “Legal and Policy Making Environment in Public Administration,” using Blackboard, video lectures, interactive webinars and Skype for one-on-one contact with students.

“So far, it’s going pretty well,” Dubnick says. “The students are really engaged, much more than I’d hoped for; it’s pretty intense.”

While Dubnick notes the 21-day semester works better for some students and some courses than others, he thinks the pilot project is a good addition to the university.

According to Rubinstein, the Faculty Senate approved the trial term to see if there was a way to modify the calendar so students could take courses that didn't fit with their fall and spring schedules or that allowed them to take a course that better prepared them for spring courses.

Subject areas included in this first J-term include administration, chemistry, communication, computer science, education, family studies, , forest technology, geography, history, justice studies, hospitality sanitation and safety, kinesiology, languages, literatures and cultures, marketing, mathematics and statistics, nursing, occupational therapy, philosophy, political science, sociology, technology and theatre and dance.

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