Academic calendar has a break-shaped hole

Despite other local colleges having as much as a week off in the fall, Temple says two days are enough.

Despite other local colleges having as much as a week off in the fall, Temple says two days are enough.

For many students, Thanksgiving break may be their first visit home since classes began in August. Unlike many other Pennsylvania colleges and universities, Temple has no fall break – which, at other schools, ranges from a couple days to a week in October.

“The fall break for Temple has traditionally been considered the two days in November given for Thanksgiving,” Associate Registrar Paul Kleschick said.

According to Kleschick, the master academic calendar is created by the registrar, and then it’s forwarded to the Executive Office of the President for revisions and final approval. Once approved, it is published to the website. The master academic calendar is looked at when class schedules are created, but the process is ultimately handled by a different office.

“[The registrar] plans several academic years in advance and uses the past years’ as a template,” Kleschick said. “The dates are then built for the 15-week semesters. Many factors are considered, including faculty contracts and contact-time requirements.”

Several nearby schools have close to a week for their fall breaks, including Penn State University, West Chester University and Villanova University, most during the week of Oct. 9-16. St. Joseph’s fall break lasted two days, from Oct. 18-19.

“I go home a lot – pretty much every other weekend,” freshman neuroscience major Phonethip Inthaphone said. “But I definitely would like a couple shorter breaks in the semester, even if that means a shorter winter break.”

Some students are indifferent about the lack of downtime at the midpoint of the semester.

“I’m from right outside of Philly, so I can really go home whenever,” senior English major Daniel Dorr said. “I think I’d definitely prefer a longer winter break – it’s kind of a reward at the end of the semester.”

Others said they feel a break would be very beneficial, especially after the stress of midterms.

“I’ve heard of schools with winter breaks equally as long as ours, and they still get a break during the fall,” sophomore economics major Nicole Rothschild said. “The time would give us an opportunity to let our knowledge really soak in and really improve the quality of our education.”

Rothschild doesn’t live nearby – her home is 1,000 miles away. She wasn’t able to go home last year for Thanksgiving, but she is this year.

“Because I’m from so far away I don’t have many opportunities to go home,” Rothschild said. “If we can’t have a fall break, it would be nice to at least have a week off for Thanksgiving – I’ll study just as much on my own [without being in class] and get to see my family.”

Kara Savidge can be reached at

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