‘A-term’ debuts at TU

Staff Report

With August term officially over, and fall term in full swing, the Transylvania community is left to evaluate the inaugural three-week session meant to introduce first-years to campus.

“I thought it was a great success,” said August Term Director and Professor of Classics John Svarlien. “[August term] moved towards some of its goals and moving students from high school towards college.”

During August term, first-years underwent a three week course designed, according to Svarlien, to increase critical reading skills and bridge the gap between high school and college. The courses, which followed a credit/no credit grading system, had students looking critically at selected readings.

It wasn’t all academic, though. Students enjoyed concerts in Back Circle, a carnival and volleyball tournament, lectures about diversity and safety, and various other events.

First-years also spent a Saturday morning completing community service projects, in efforts replace the previous pre-orientation programs that took place before the start of fall term.

Transy traditions such as the Greet Line, still remained.

“There was a good balance between socializing and academics,” Svarlien said.

While the effect, and success, of August term will be tracked for months – even years – initial results are optimistic. The success rate for the August term course, according to Interim Vice President & Dean of the College Kathleen Jagger, was extremely high.

Anecdotal evidence, too, hints at success.

“All the teachers that I’ve talked to about it have been positive about it,” Svarlien said.

Work still needs to be done, though, and focus groups are currently being formed to discuss the details and opportunities for change, according to Svarlien.

“August term is potentially a new tradition at Transy,” said Svarlien.



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