originally published in the 2013 Spring Issue
Of the three terms, the spring term has the most varied start dates. Course starts go from mid April to mid May, unlike the fall term where most start in the first week of September and the winter term in the first week of January.
Some start dates in the spring even go into June, July and August. Learning Curves has featured these courses in our summer issue for the past few years. Some colleges still publish calendars that list the start dates and schedule (day of the week and hours) under the course description like Durham, Sheridan, Centennial and the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto. So you can browse through the calendar looking for suitable days of the week, times, and start dates.
But others have gone completely online like Seneca or publish a calendar with course descriptions and refer you to a website for schedules like George Brown and Humber. Still others like the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson print a booklet with course titles offered for the term but you have to go online to get schedules and course descriptions.
Each online system has different a way to be user-friendly; for instance, Seneca’s website lets you search courses by the days of the week. The Humber and George Brown calendars have text boxes throughout their calendars referring you not only to the website for schedules but to the direct phone line for the department offering the course.
Sheridan goes the extra mile in its print calendar by inserting a section showing in which terms each course is offered. This is a big help for planning how to expeditiously finish a program of study.
Some of us miss browsing through the calendar when other courses of interest have caught our eye. For some of us not to have to go on campus to get a copy of the calendar (probably to find none are left) going online is handy. As well web sites are more up to date than the calendars which are published months ahead of the class offerings. Some find it tedious to keep drilling down from program to course to schedule only to find it is not offered this term--this is especially true for the spring and summer offerings as there are not as many courses compared to the fall and winter terms.
Whether you curl up with a calendar, your iPad or laptop to find a spring term course, the thing is spring is here and what better way to celebrate the longer, warmer days than to learn something new.
Readers should note that the Toronto District School Board General Interest courses start in the first week of April so you need to look at these right away.
Some distance education courses have term start dates, but many have monthly start dates all year long.