Adapting and Introducing Academic Calendars


This research explores the structure of academic calendars at mid-sized, comprehensive institutions. Specifically, we investigate how and why administrators design academic calendars and the impact of different models of academic calendars.

Key observations from our research

1. Four profiled institutions follow academic calendars with January terms, while two profiled institutions adhere to traditional semester calendars.

2. All profiled institutions operate on multiple academic calendars for different academic programs.

3. Administrators use extended holiday breaks and optional terms (e.g., January terms) to expand international programs.

4. Contacts select one office (e.g., registrar’s office, provost’s office) as the office responsible for adapting and introducing new academic calendars.

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