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Journeying Through J-Term

Winter break traditionally has been a time when college students head home for a month. After celebrating the holidays with their families, they often work for a few weeks to earn some money, or just take it easy after the rigors of fall semester. Today, however, more and more students are heading back to campus in early January to take advantage of J-Term.

J-Term is a three-week period of compressed study, held in January (hence the name). Students typically attend three-hour classes Monday through Friday. First offered at St. Norbert during the 2008-09 school year, SNC’s J-Term originally consisted of more niche courses, such as travel-and-study opportunities. Today’s expanded course offerings include core classes that students may need to squeeze in, plus more travel options, which are ideal for those who aren’t able to commit to an entire semester studying abroad, says Michael Rosewall, associate academic dean.

How do you know if a J-Term class is a good option for your student?

  • Travel Opportunities. Many students can’t afford the cost or time involved in spending a semester abroad. Several J-Term courses include travel, both in the U.S. and overseas. This J-Term, for example, an honors course will be offered involving a trip to Spain, while a philosophy and classical studies course will include a trip to Greece.
  • Focused Study. Students who find a particular subject difficult often have more success studying it during J-Term. With just one course on the docket, they can put all of their efforts into this one challenging subject, which can be the key to better understanding.
  • Convenience. Some students find it quite convenient to squeeze in another class simply by returning to campus a few weeks early post-holidays – and more preferable than studying on campus over the summer. (SNC also offers summer classes.)

Some 300 SNC students take advantage of J-Term classes each year. This school year, J-Term begins Jan. 4, 2016.

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