The 2013-14 academic calendar has undergone some changes from years past.
Approved by the South Dakota Board of Regents in March 2012, the 2013-14 academic calendar will feature an amended finals week schedule, and will push the fall semester to 76 days.
The 2012 fall semester totaled just 74 days.
In total, the 2013-14 academic year is five days longer, or an entire instructional week, than in 2012-13.
The fall semester, beginning Aug. 26, will conclude Wednesday, Dec. 18 with finals week beginning Thursday, Dec. 12, splitting finals week in two.
Sam Gingerich, SDBOR’s System Vice President for Academic Affairs, said the main driving point behind the change in structure was to bring both semesters past the 75 day benchmark.
“The bottom line is people are interested in having the year be 75 instructional days, something we failed to do in the past with the extra day off before Thanksgiving break,” Gingerich said. “We would have had to make other major manipulation to make finals week uninterrupted.”
A free day, or reading day, has been placed Dec. 11 as a source of last minute studying for final exams.
Spring finals week will return to the standard Monday-Friday format.
In addition to the extended year and amended finals week schedule, SDBOR opted to eliminate the free day after Easter Sunday.
“There were some of those concerns behind the decision to cut off the day after Easter,” Gingerich said. “But, really it isn’t that important to grant that day, especially when we give students a week-long break earlier in the spring.”
In addition, classes for the 2013-14 school year will begin Monday, Aug. 26.
The following spring semester will conclude May 9, 2014.
Gingerich said the 2013-14 format will remain constant through the 2019-20 academic year.