PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Students at Northern Maine Community College don’t have to sit home over holiday break, as the college has taken what is traditionally a slow time to offer a winter “miniterm.”
Concentrated classes will be held over a three-week period beginning Monday. The courses will offer college credit by meeting daily and for a longer period than the same courses would in a 15-week semester, the average length of the fall and spring semesters at most colleges.
William Egeler, dean of students at NMCC, said the idea for the miniterm originated a few years ago and is quickly catching on.
The shortened winter term also is widely used at other universities.
“The winter miniterm was established several years ago to accommodate the needs of individuals finding it very difficult to continue their education because of the other demands their life placed on them, in particular, work schedules,” he said Tuesday. “Shortening the time frame for classes was something they and their em-ployers were better able to manage.”
One of the main advantages of the program, according to Egeler, is that it helps NMCC students reduce their academic load during the spring term.
The miniterm not only benefits NMCC students, Egeler said, it also benefits students from other colleges who are home on holiday break. The students can take elective or general education classes during the miniterm and in many cases transfer them back to their own college.
In addition to more traditional courses such as general psychology and speech, the NMCC winter miniterm course offerings include allied health, education and business courses of benefit individuals in the work force who cannot take a full 15-week semester course because of work or other commitments.
“We get a lot of business owners and managers who say that they’d like to have their employees take these courses during the year, but they can only spare them over the holidays because it is slower then,” he said. “The miniterm can help with that.”
For more information on the winter miniterm, including a complete listing of courses offered or to register for a course, contact the NMCC student services office at 768-2787.