New Fall Term Break approved by Senate
On Wednesday, November 4, 2015 University of Manitoba Senate approved a new Fall Term Break. This break will occur for the first time in the 2016-2017 academic year.
The Fall Term Break will be comprised of the Thanksgiving weekend and the Thursday and Friday immediately preceding. No classes or tests will be scheduled during these days. The first Fall Term Break will occur on October 6-7, 2016, for most students. Some programs like education, dentistry and medicine were not able to accommodate the break due to their current curriculum schedule.
Student mental health is receiving increased attention at universities and colleges across Canada and one action that is believed to reduce student’s stress levels is to provide a break from classes and tests during the Fall Term.
“A fall break would mitigate some academic scheduling pressures and provide the opportunity for students to use the allotted time to find reprieve, recharge, meaningfully reconnect with family and friends, and reassess if needed, the current state of their mental health for the remainder of the semester,” writes Katie Kutryk, health and wellness educator at the U of M, in a letter of support for the Fall Term Break.
A review provided by UMSU in May 2015 found that 60% of schools in Canada offered some form of a Fall Break to their students. These breaks range in length from two to five days.
The Fall Term normally begins on a Thursday and ends on a Wednesday. To accommodate the two teaching days lost, the final week of the Fall Term will be extended to Friday.
The impact of the Fall Term Break will be reviewed annually for three years to determine its effect on instruction, lab activities and student outcomes.
The new 2016-2017 academic schedule will be available on the Registrar’s Office web page next week.