Creativity, Breadth, Diversity and Intensity: Jan Term classes are intended to be an intense and demanding academic experience.
In one month, your on-campus class will meet at least as often as a full-credit class in the regular semester. Many travel courses, taking advantage of the opportunity to be on location, will meet more than three times the hours of any class offered in the fall or spring. As there aren’t three other courses vying for your academic attention in January, if anything, faculty members expect more from you and tend to increase the pace of instruction. Jan Term courses usually require broader reading, more reflection and careful writing, more thorough preparation for class meetings and greater individual initiative. Students are expected to do at least two hours of preparation for every hour of class or at least five hours of work for every regularly scheduled day of class.
Jan Term classes are intentionally non-departmental, for several reasons. For one, this frees students from feeling they should be fulfilling area and departmental requirements at the same time. We encourage you to be bold in your choice of a course. Dare to explore. Take a class that captures your imagination and calls to your heart. Search this catalog for courses beyond your major field. Take this opportunity to broaden your educational experience.
Jan Term classes are also non-departmental for the benefit of the faculty. Most of the faculty members at Saint Mary’s College have expertise and passions that burst from the constraints of academic disciplines and standard curricula. For both students and faculty, Jan Term can be a laboratory for experimentation in both subject matter and technique. It offers all of us a chance to try new ideas and explore topics in greater detail than is possible within the constraints of a regular semester.