Winter session details made available for Iowa State students

Winter session details such as the course list, registration dates, tuition and key dates are now available for Iowa State students.

Jill Even

Winter session class details were determined for Iowa State, including the course list, registration, tuition and key dates.

According to the winter session website, winter session will occur over the course of five weeks during the extended 2020-21 winter break, starting Dec. 14 and ending Jan. 21. Finals will occur on January 21. No classes will take place on university holidays: Dec. 24-25, Jan. 1 and Jan. 18.

Winter session is only available to undergraduate students who began schooling at Iowa State in the fall.

Registration for winter session courses will take place at the same time as registration for spring semester courses, between Oct. 28 and Nov. 13. Return Authorization Numbers (RANs) will be the same for winter session and spring semester.

Beate Schmittmann is serving as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and executive planning committee chair for the winter session. Schmittmann said winter session courses were chosen by each college. All of the undergraduate colleges submitted winter session proposals of classes with good enrollment that meet many graduation requirements for students.

“By taking an extra course in the winter, you open up some time in the spring semester maybe for experiential learning opportunities, such as undergraduate research or an internship,” Schmittmann said.

She said students can only take four credits during the winter session due to its restricted time element.

“You have to think about the fact that you are taking 15 weeks of instruction and you are compressing it into five weeks,” Schmittmann said. “That basically means that you will have four contact hours per day, plus having to do homework and assignments.”

She also said winter session tuition will align with normal tuition policies.

“It will be intense, but [winter session] should be a great opportunity,” Schmittmann said. “We made sure the faculty teaching have experience with online instruction in such a compressed setting.”

She said course selection for the winter session was more of an experiment, and the university will see how this session goes before making winter classes a permanent addition to the Iowa State calendar in the future.

Schmittman also said if the winter term continues next year, it will require a lot of work to change the university calendar and update the university software systems to reflect the session addition.

“[Success] means that we will have good enrollment in the courses [and] students and faculty generally report that they are satisfied,” Schmittmann said. “We want to make sure students stay with the courses they enroll in and complete the session successfully. If all of these areas are successful, we will definitely consider having another winter session next year.”