DU might join other schools with fall break

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 10, 2016) – Many area colleges and universities have time allotted for a fall break around midterm, but Dillard does not. It is, however, being considered.

Dr. Yolanda Page, vice president of Academic Affairs, said school would have to start earlier or end later to accommodate a break and still meet the accrediting requirement of 15 weeks of classes, but she said the good news is that students get a five-week winter break.

Dillard University has not had a mid-semester break since fall 2011, when the Thursday and Friday after midterm exams were designated for a two-day break.

Even so, at least seven nearby schools continue to enjoy a fall break: These include Southern University at New Orleans, Loyola University, Tulane University, Delgado Community College, Xavier University at Louisiana, Southern University at Baton Rouge and Louisiana State University.

Page said she was unsure why the DU fall break was removed from the calendar since she arrived in 2013. She said she didn’t think institutional calendars should be compared; for example, she said, DU takes off the day after Mardi Gras while others do not.

Even so, Page said she would consider a change: “I’m currently working on the [20]17-18 calendar, so I will consider a one-day break.”

Page explained that to meet accrediting standards, classes must meet for at least 15 weeks:

“In order to accommodate a fall break, we would either have to start the semester a week earlier or end it a week later. The good news is you get a five-week winter break from the end of the exam period (Dec. 9) to the start of the spring semester (Jan. 17).”

The requirement for at least 15 weeks of classes comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC.

Ashlyn Harris, a junior mass communication major from Oakland, Calif., said a break would definitely help.

“The stress from a week of exams, assignments and still taking care of other things definitely tampered with my focus. A break is essential to the health of college students.”