7-Week Courses at MC Explained


Keidy Lopez

In the Fall semester of 2020, Montgomery College announced its decision to offer more classes in a 7-week period starting this spring semester as opposed to the regular 15-week semester. Some students’ concerns were brought up, such as the worry over not being able to learn comprehensively in a 7-week period and whether or not the regular 15-week format would still be offered upon registration.

Montgomery College has always offered 7-week courses, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MC administration’s recent decision only allowed for an increase in the number of 7-week courses offered within the semester. That is not to say that 15-week classes are not being offered, only that a greater amount of 7-week courses would be offered in addition to the usual 15-week course format.

According to Dr. Sanjay Rai, Senior Vice President for the Academic Affairs at Montgomery College, “Seven-week classes were done to provide students more flexibility,” because, “we did a survey of our students. Half of our students have lost jobs, and another 40 percent or so have reduced hours of employment.” This demonstrates that the majority of the MC student population will have different schedules and availabilities than they previously did.

The administration also recognizes that “Some students may not be able to take 15-week classes, so we wanted to give them the opportunity to take short term classes.”  That is why they are also offering the second 7-week session, starting on March 29th. It is up to students to choose what kind of class format they prefer. The 15-week class format is still available for those who prefer longer courses. Dr. Rai went on to comment, “Students who are unable to learn in 7-week format, for those students we have offered plenty of 15-week classes. In fact, there are still seats open in 15-week classes.” Additionally, students are free to create combinations of both 15-week and 7-week courses during the semester.

The Montgomery College administration affirmed that their priority is the student’s success. According to Dr. Rai, “they often analyze data to measure student’s performance, in order to decide what would be most beneficial for them,” within the structure of their academics. Dr. Rai also stated that during “extended winter sessions, 81.5 percent of students passed their classes,” demonstrating that Montgomery College students are indeed able to thrive during short-term classes. MC administration ultimately made the decision to increase the 7-week course offerings because they believed it would be beneficial to the students, which is, and always will be, their priority.