Starting in the fall 2021 semester, 8-Week Advantage changes the vast majority of ECTC classes from a 16-week format to an eight-week format. The traditional 16-week semester includes two eight-week sessions.
Why 8-Week Advantage?
Nothing matters more than students’ success. And we’re making real changes to help all our students succeed. Research shows students do better when they can focus on fewer classes at a time. You’re more likely to earn better grades and keep going until graduation. Plus, you can earn the same number of credit hours – or more – during a 16-week semester, meaning you’ll graduate in the same amount of time or even sooner.
With 8-Week Advantage, students get:
- FOCUS ADVANTAGE - Focusing on fewer classes at a time helps you get more engaged and multitask less.
- MOMENTUM ADVANTAGE - Nothing fuels motivation like completing classes. See your progress, eight weeks at a time.
- CONNECTION ADVANTAGE - With fewer, longer classes, you’ll develop stronger relationships with your professors and classmates.
- FLEXIBILTY ADVANTAGE - Depending on the classes you want to take, you could start college in August, October, January, March or June. That’s great news if you’re balancing a job, family and other responsibilities.
8-Week Advantage changes your schedule. Everything else you’ve come to expect from ECTC remains unchanged, from the content of your classes, to the total amount of time you spend with instructors, to the value of the degree, certificate or diploma you earn.
What will my 8-Week Advantage schedule look like?
8-Week Advantage allows for a lot of flexibility. You’ll work with an academic advisor to determine the best plan for you. You will select classes for two eight-week sessions when you enroll for the fall and spring semesters. Enrollment for the eight-week summer session is held separately. You may have a heavier class load in one of the eight-week sessions. Your academic advisor will help you evaluate your strengths and find the right balance. Here’s a look at how 8-Week Advantage could change your class load and schedule.
If you’re a full-time student taking five classes in a traditional 16-week semester,
you would take two or three classes per eight-week session. You’ll focus on fewer
classes at a time and earn the same 15 credits.
If you have time to take two classes during the traditional 16-week semester, you would take just one class at time in the 8-Week Advantage format. You’ll be more focused and still earn the same credits.
SAMPLE 8-Week Advantage Schedules
Meet Gabriel, a full-time student pursuing an Associate in Arts. Gabriel’s goal is
to knock out his basics for a bachelor’s degree in psychology. It’s his first semester
of college and he wants to build his class load gradually. He’ll take two classes
during the first eight-week session and three classes during the second eight-week
session. All his classes are Mondays and Wednesdays, leaving him plenty of time for
homework, his part-time job and volunteering.
Meet Laura, a part-time student pursuing an Associate in Science. Laura works full
time for a national drug store chain, where she’s been promoted to team leader. She
plans to take her career to the next level by completing the first two years of a
bachelor’s degree at ECTC and then transferring to a university to continue pursuing
her dream of becoming a pharmacist. She’s taking seven credit hours. With 8-Week Advantage,
she can focus on fewer classes at a time, helping her to balance her growing work
Meet Tyler, a full-time student pursuing an Associate in Applied Science in Industrial
Maintenance Technology. Tyler works full time on second shift for a large manufacturer.
He is determined to complete his degree and advance his career within two years. He’s
taking 16 credit hours, a heavy lift for someone with a full-time job. 8-Week Advantage
allows Tyler to narrow his focus, graduate on time and land one of the most in-demand
jobs in the manufacturing industry.
Meet Ashley, a part-time student pursuing an Associate in Applied Science in Industrial
Maintenance Technology. Ashley’s days are busy. She has two young children and puts
in a lot of hours at her family’s growing agriculture business. Balancing two classes
for 16 weeks was a struggle, so she was taking one evening class per semester to attain
new skills and help the family business grow. With 8-Week Advantage, she can do more.
Ashley is taking one class per eight-week session. She still can focus on one class
at a time, but earn her degree sooner.
Meet Morgan, a full-time student pursuing an Associate in Applied Science in Business
Administration Systems. Morgan works about 25 to 30 hours a week as a customer service
representative in the finance industry, and she’ll soon have opportunities to build
a career in management. It was tough to balance five classes and she was exhausted
by the end of the semester. With 8-Week Advantage, she is focusing on just two or
three classes at a time and is more engaged.
Meet Jack, a part-time student pursuing an Associate in Applied Science in Business
Administration Systems. Jack has been taking three classes per semester in addition
to working full time in human resources. He’s ready to advance his career and he’s
proud to set a positive example for his teenage children. With 8-Week Advantage, Jack
can take one class during the first eight-week session and two classes during the
second eight-week session. It’s a more manageable workload, especially since it aligns
with the seasonal increases in Jack’s work hours.
Have a question?
Take a look at these frequently asked questions.
8-Week Advantage reorganizes your schedule so that you can focus on fewer classes at a time and be more successful.
8-Week Advantage has five sessions per year. Fall semester has two eight-week sessions, spring semester has two eight-week sessions, and summer has one eight-week session. You’ll get a week-long fall and spring break.
Students who intend to take classes during both eight-week sessions should enroll in both sessions at once, especially for financial aid purposes. Contact your academic advisor and financial aid before making changes to your schedule.
Financial aid still will be awarded based on the number of credit hours per semester. Students who qualify for federal aid including the Pell Grant should enroll in both eight-week sessions during the fall and spring semesters to correctly indicate if they are part-time or full-time students. Funds for the entire semester (two eight-week sessions) will be disbursed three to four weeks into the first eight-week term.
Status still is determined by the number of credit hours you take over the course of the semester. Take six credit hours (typically two classes) per eight-week session for full-time status.
The maximum number of credit hours you can take per eight-week session is 10.
You’ll get the same amount of time with your instructors. For example, if you spent about three hours per week for 16 weeks with an instructor in a traditional semester class, you can expect to spend about six hours per week for eight weeks with 8-Week Advantage. Depending on the class, this could be a mix of in-person and online instruction, but the total amount of time will not change.
No. All eight-week classes will offer the same high-quality education and training as 16-week classes.
New students can enroll in any of the five sessions throughout the year. Depending on the program, all of your required classes might not be offered every term. Students taking classes during only one eight-week session of a semester should check in with the financial aid office to be sure they understand how this may affect their aid.
Homework will depend on the class, but because you will focus on fewer classes at a time, the average time spent on homework each semester will not change.
About 95 percent of ECTC classes will only be offered in eight-week sessions. Exceptions include classes with clinical or practicum requirements that cannot be completed in eight weeks.
No, tuition is based on the number of credit hours per semester.
ECTC Veterans Affairs practices will remain the same, and full-time status will be determined based on the number of credit hours per session. Email ECTCVA@kctcs.edu for more information.
A student who has not paid tuition or signed up for a payment plan will be assigned a financial hold. The hold will be placed a few weeks into the first eight-week session and will result in the student being dropped from the second eight-week session classes.
SAP status continues to be updated at the end of the semester. Therefore, grades from the first eight-week session will not be reflected immediately.
Each eight-week session will have its own deadlines to enter a class or drop a class. For a complete list of deadlines, please see the academic calendar. It is very important that students understand how dropping a class can affect their financial aid and tuition due. Check in with the financial aid and business offices before changing your schedule.
Taking an eight-week bi-term class alongside three or four 16-week classes is challenging! The difference with 8-Week Advantage is all your classes last eight weeks, so you’ll be focusing on fewer classes at a time.
KEES is based on the number of credit hours you take and will not be affected by 8-Week Advantage. Whether you register for a total of three credit hours or 15 credit hours over the course of two eight-week session, your KEES funding is not affected by 8-Week Advantage.
The Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship and 15 to Finish Scholarship are not affected by 8-Week Advantage.
Dual credit students may enroll in eight-week classes. Offerings vary by high school and you should always start by consulting your high school guidance office. For more information, contact our dual credit office.
Dual credit scholarships are not affected by 8-Week Advantage. High school students should enroll in both eight-week sessions at the same time when they register for the fall and/or spring semesters for scholarship and billing purposes.
Still have questions? Contact your academic advisor if you’re a current student or give us a call at 270-769-2371. We’re here to help!