During Drake’s J-Term, for three weeks, students and faculty engage in intensive, focused learning opportunities, with no distractions from other classes. It is an opportunity to study subjects that are often difficult to fit into a regular semester schedule. There are a wide variety of options available to students, from participating in a travel seminar to working fulltime on a theater production, from meeting an Areas of Inquiry requirement that is difficult to schedule, to advanced courses in the major that are uniquely structured to meet the intensive learning environment.
Faculty and students who have participated in J-Term are strongly supportive of it. For example, one student wrote:
“Having J-term allows students to branch out beyond their normal course load and experience new topics/trips just for the experience. It also allows students to catch up on courses they might otherwise have had to take in the summer.”
While another wrote:
“You get to explore the world and see new cultures. You also get to travel while you are young and see many things people our age miss out on. It works in perfectly for people who are not able to fit study abroad into their semesters at Drake.”
Similarly, a faculty member wrote:
“It was a very gratifying teaching experience. It was intense, and it caused me to rethink the way I do a lot of things. But it also provided opportunities to engage with students in a way that isn't really possible in a regular course.”
In fact, in our surveys of student and faculty participants in J-Term, 94% of the students said they would recommend other students take a J-Term course, and 87% of the faculty said they would recommend other faculty teach in J-Term!
Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment
Chair, J-Term Oversight Committee.