The loss of finals week this past year has affected students and faculty alike.
In past semesters, finals week has caused problems. Tests were scheduled with no regard for a class’s regular meeting times. This resulted in students being forced to miss work to attend tests at times they did not expect.
Exam week has been cut out for two semesters now, allowing students and faculty members to administer exams as they please. However, many classes still require students to take some sort of evaluation.
While some classes have replaced finals with essays or projects, most math and science students still need to take tests that can last for two or more hours. If a class’s schedule does not leave enough time for a two-hour test, students and professors may need to stay overtime. Sometimes, a student must choose between finishing one class and going to another.
In response to this, some professors have decided to shorten their exams. Tests that effectively judged students’ knowledge in the past are now hurried and incomplete in order to stay on schedule.
The Center for Assistive Technology is a place for students to take their exams away from class if necessary. In the past, about 300 students at a time have done this, but since the cutting of finals week, this number has increased to nearly 500 despite steadily decreasing enrollment.
According to Donna Totaro, assistant director of the CAT, this rise may actually be caused by increased pressure on students.
“Students are more stressed when they take their finals this way,” said Totaro. “It’s harder to test like this.”
Students have mixed opinions on whether or not to have finals week. Some prefer using the week off for other activities, while others would rather have the time to effectively complete their tests.
“I prefer the time off for other things. It’s a whole week.” said Eraina, forensic science major.
The college can now take time off for Spring Break as well, which has not happened for several semesters.
The decision to remove finals week was included in a contract passed by the Board of Trustees and Faculty Association, which will last from the beginning of the fall 2015 semester to Aug. 2019.
Students can expect to have no finals week until the contract is up for renewal again in 2019.