» By BRIAN BIGELOW – bbigelow@my.apsu.edu

Students now have another opportunity to earn credit toward their degrees. For the first time, students can now take a single class between the fall and spring semesters during the holiday season.

The new winter semester will be offered from Dec. 18 to Jan. 27.

“The original idea was to mirror an idea at East Tennessee State University. ETSU is also doing a winter semester this year,” said Provost Tristan Denley. “When I heard that they were doing that, I thought … our students would very much like that too and so I wanted to explore whether we could do this here.”

All classes offered during the winter term are online.

With students and faculty traveling during the holidays, there are logistical limits to offering on-campus classes, Denley said.

There are 18 different courses being offered this winter term but some courses have more than one section available in order to meet demand, said Dana Willett, executive director of Extended and Distance Education.

“Initially we wanted to only offer courses that we really knew there would be a good demand for. So, we primarily looked at gateway courses, courses that are in the core, courses that students would really need to … move on to the next part of their degree,” Denley said.

Currently, only undergraduate courses are being offered during the winter term, but, “there are lots of conversations across campus about whether there are graduate classes that would fit into [the winter semester] and I very much expect that next year there will be graduate classes as part of the winter semester,” Denley said.

Students can only take one course at a time during the winter term. Willett said he hopes to see the winter term become an APSU tradition.

As of Wednesday, Nov. 16, 278 students were enrolled in the winter term, Denley said.

“Judging by the enrollments right now, there is a lot of support for this,” Denley said. “Students are enrolling very quickly. It seems to be very popular.”

The cost for the winter term is the same as any other semester, with a price tag of $684.75 for in-state tuition for a three-credit hour course.

Credit hours taken in the winter term count toward financial aid availability for the spring semester. Students must be enrolled in one of the spring semesters to get winter term financial aid. Financial aid for the winter term will be calculated based on the number of hours enrolled in for “Spring I, Spring Main campus and winter term,” said Donna Price, director of Student Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs.

Financial aid can be used to purchase winter term books at the campus bookstore starting Monday, Dec. 12. Classes must be paid and confirmed by Sunday, Dec. 18, Price said. TAS