FromKALB — At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the winter break will last from December 11 to January 17 during the fourth week of the month when usually it is the third week.
“Our academic calendar is based on a very old timetable model that the university has used for many years,” said Cody Schmitz, director and registrar of registration and archives.
NIU’s schedule this year tries to follow that pattern.
“Due to how calendars work, we try to start around this Monday in the third week of January, and the dates will vary, and again every year Monday is not the same date,” said Schmitz.
This year, school starts on January 18, which is the fourth week of the month. Indeed, the first week of January 2022 only lasts one day.
“Because this week is really just one day, we’re technically going with the week on the calendar, but it’s much closer to where we would typically start any year,” Schmitz said.
Also, January 17 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so students start classes on January 18 instead.
Every year there are variations in calendar dates, but this year’s calendar is not out of the ordinary, Schmitz said.
“Semester start and end dates are going to change by a day or two every year, and then every now and then we kind of have to reset to keep the major calendar milestones in roughly the same place” , Schmitz said. .
This change of a few days may possibly move certain calendar dates away from where Academic Affairs wants them in the year.
“Some years that start date will be in January a bit later,” Schmitz said. “It could be as late as January 18. Sometimes it could be as early as January 11.”
This change in schedule will not decrease the number of times students will be in school at NIU.
“When the semester starts a little earlier, it will end a little earlier; when it starts a little later, it’s going to end a little later,” Schmitz said. “The Academic Affairs Committee wants to ensure that the amount of tuition students receive is consistent from semester to semester.”
Schmitz said the choices the committee made with the schedule had worked before, and this year’s schedule will be good for students as well.
“It worked well for the university, it worked well for the students; it worked well for faculty and staff,” Schmitz said. “It gives people the opportunity to kind of transition from one semester to the next to rest, prepare and be successful in the semester ahead.”
A student seemed surprised by the long pause.
“I thought we were going to resume classes at the beginning of January,” said Cesar Castillo, a young political science student. “I’m actually a little shocked that it’s actually been a month.”