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A Web Letter from the Office of the Provost - April 2022

By Mary Jane Chew

Winter Flex session provides opportunities for students

Students will be able to participate in the inaugural “Winter Flex” session during the 2022-2023 academic year.  After receiving University Senate support earlier this spring, Winter Flex will now be an official part of the academic calendar and will be in session for the three weeks between the end of fall semester and the beginning of spring semester.

Kris Wong Davis, vice provost for enrollment management and co-chair of the Winter Flex working group, says the new term is designed to enhance student success by providing additional opportunities for students to study abroad or engage in other curricular interests that may not fit into a traditional eight-semester plan of study.

“We are pleased to be able to offer the flexibility of the Winter Flex term to our students,” said Wong Davis. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve been vetting a variety of models of a winter session that would add value to the student experience while assisting with time-to-degree.  After listening to feedback from faculty, staff and students, we feel like we’ve created a program that will meet that need.”

Marion Underwood, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences and co-chair of the Winter Flex working group adds that the first year of the program will focus primarily on opportunities to study abroad. Fully asynchronous online classes will begin being offered in winter 2023-2024.

“The new Winter Flex term provides opportunities for academic innovation and student success, for students and faculty to participate in Study Abroad between the fall and spring semesters to new parts of the world, for students to take asynchronous online classes to make progress toward their degrees or to try a new academic area, and for the faculty and instructors to design creative additions to the curriculum.”

The Winter Flex term would be voluntary and optional for faculty, instructors, graduate students, and undergraduate students on the West Lafayette campus. Appropriate compensation would be provided for those supporting Winter Flex and who are not on contract during that time.

Read the entire Winter Flex proposal.