Preparing for Shortened Academic Terms: A Guide (partial release)

In Spring 2021 Achieving the Dream will be releasing the guide Preparing for Shortened Academic Terms to help colleges through the preparatory and planning work towards building shortened course formats (7 or 8-week terms) at their institutions. The comprehensive guide includes details about why colleges are making this shift, what the research says about the impact of the shift, and promising practices from colleges and ATD coaches who have implemented such a change. The content in the guide draws from change leadership principles, ATD’s experience implementing institution-wide transformational change efforts, and planning for structural, process, and cultural changes specific to this type of effort. 

The guide will be accompanied by a workbook which is divided into 5 phases of work including Early Decision Making, Purpose and Case Making, Strategy, Academic Planning, and Support Planning.  This workbook is designed to be action-oriented and flexible, allowing colleges to make plans and decisions that align with their unique institutional context. 

ATD will pre-released the first two sections of the workbook (Early Decision Making and Purpose and Case Making) during the concurrent session “Preparing to Shift to an 8-Week Academic Term as an Equity Strategy” during Achieving the Dream’s DREAM 2021 convening. 

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