Feature: End of the Quarter System

last modified Aug 15, 2013 03:25 PM

Today is the first day of the 2013 Fall semester. Did you know that CPCC has only used the semester system since 1997? For the first 34 years of the school's history, students could attend classes during four, eleven-week quarters.

School administrators at community colleges across North Carolina studied the possibility of switching to a semester system for many years in order to understand the full impact and amount of work that would be required.

In 1992 a two-thirds majority of Community College presidents voted to convert to the semester system. In May 1995 the State Board of Community Colleges agreed, and it voted to implement the semester system by fall 1997.

This would be a major change for the community college system. It required school administrators to make adjustments to tuition and fee schedules, academic credits, and course numbering and names, among other things. The conversion of quarter-based programs of study to a semester-based programs of study was completed through a state-wide coordinated effort. Additionally, many staff and faculty members worked very hard to ensure that there was a smooth transition for all members of the CPCC community.

To celebrate this new chapter in CPCC's history, the school threw a "Quarter System Wake" and "mourned" the death of the quarter system. Staff members gave eulogies and old schedules were burned. Out with the old and in with the new!

Mitchell Hagler gives a eulogy for the CPCC quarter system (1997)

Richard Zollinger prepares old catalogs and schedules for the quarter system wake

Staff and faculty burn old schedules on Central Campus to symbolize the death of the quarter system (1997)