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8-Week Sessions

Focusing on Student Success

Starting in June 2020, Your Eastern Shore Community College will implement a year-round academic calendar that offers courses in 8-week sessions.  Substantial research shows that 8-week sessions increase student success, retention, and completion.  This also allows students to begin college at five different times during the year, greatly reducing wait time.  Students will be able to accrue credits more quickly and see tangible progress toward program completion.

  • Students will be able to enter the college for any of the five sessions which will allow more opportunities for students to enter classes and programs.
  • More credits can be completed more quickly with the five term option, allowing students to earn their degree faster.
  • Classes will run for eight weeks but students will have the same contact time with their instructors and classmates in face-to-face classes as they would during a sixteen week semester.  Hybrid and online class options will also be offered.

Each academic year will include five 8-week terms: one in the summer, two in the fall, and two in the spring.

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Questions and answers about 8-week courses  

What are the dates of the 8-week sessions for 2020-21?  

Will the tuition cost be the same?

Yes, tuition costs will remain the same.

How will this change affect my financial aid?

Nothing drastic is changing in regards to your financial aid for the 2020-21 academic year when it comes to the new 8-week sessions. Financial aid will still be processed for the fall, spring and summer terms.  However, you will need to make certain to register for all of your semester courses upfront. This means if you plan to take courses in the first 8-week session and the second 8-week session, you must enroll for all classes prior to the last day to add classes for the first 8-week session.

How will this change affect registration? 

During each semester, be sure to register for both 8-week sessions (e.g. Fall 1 and Fall 2) at the same time. This will help keep you on track for the most efficient course sequence to complete your program.  Registering for both 8-week sessions at the same time will also ensure that you have the correct credit load for financial aid eligibility.

When should I buy my textbooks and other course materials? 

You will need to order your books for both 8-week sessions at the beginning of each semester. Financial aid funds are expected to be available to charge against at least one week prior to the first day of classes for the semester.

How will this change affect part-time students?

The 8-week format is beneficial for part-time students. It allows them to focus their efforts on one to two courses at a time while having the opportunity to accumulate more credits each semester.

Will we cover the same material in 8 weeks as we do in a semester? 

Yes.  All courses are expected to cover the same material as was covered in 16-week classes.

Will students lose Face-to-Face time with our professors?

Not necessarily.  Face-to-Face classes will have the same number of contact hours as you would during a semester course.  You will either have longer classes or meet more frequently, depending upon the discipline.  Hybrid or online classes will follow different formats.

Will all classes be hybrids?

No.  We will also have Face-to-Face and online classes.

Can I take the same number of classes as I would normally take in a semester?

Yes.  If you take two or three classes every 8 weeks you will still be taking four to six classes per semester.  You can also take classes during the summer session.

How long will each class be?

The length of the class will depend on the number of credits each class provides.

Will each class meet every day?

No.  Most classes will meet twice a week.

Will an 8-week schedule mean more work for students?

No.  You will have the same amount of work per class as you would in a semester, but you will only be taking two or three classes so you will be able to focus all your study time on these classes.  This will require you to schedule dedicated study time.  If you fall behind you will have less time to catch up!

Will all the final exams still be at the end of the semester? 

No.  You will take a final exam at the end of each class.  An 8-week class will have a final exam at the end of the 8-week session.

Will we still be able to graduate on time?

Yes!  You will be able to graduate on time or, in some cases, earlier, as you will still be taking five or six courses per semester, and also have the option of taking summer classes.

Questions?  Contact Student Services at 757-789-1720 or email

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