In continuation of our Immigrant Stories, features highlighting students who identify as immigrants, we spoke with  Sahar Jamshed, a natural science major studying pre-dental. Sahar is from Afghanistan and moved to India as a refugee before coming to the United States.

If you feel comfortable doing so, share a little about your family and your experience of when and why you came to the United States? Were there any challenges you/your family faced?

I am from Afghanistan, Kabul. At a young [age], I moved to India as a refugee with my family. Life in Afghanistan is not what my parents wanted [for] us, living in fear and being tortured by society and its diplomatic people. We came to the United States because it’s the land of opportunity. Women are free to get an education and have a better life, and great things are available to be achieved by hard work and persistence. At first, life seemed very hard In America. I could barely speak the English language. My family did not have a clear idea of what they were going to do or [to] live here and to survive, but eventually, as years passed by, we figured it all out with help of other immigrant families and friends

Why did you decide to come to Spalding?

I decided to come to Spalding University (English being my second language) because I knew that I would need the extra help and attention from my professors in order to be successful in becoming a dentist.

BS in Natural Science | Program Overview

What has your experience been like as an immigrant student at Spalding, and are you happy/proud to now be a part of the Spalding community?

It has been a great journey here at Spalding University. I have had some great professors who are always there to help out. I am very proud and grateful to be here at Spalding University and to be part of such a humble a giving community.

Are there ways people could be more supportive of immigrant students?

People can be more supportive of immigrant students by simply making them feel welcome as Spalding University has [made] me [feel]. [Just] being there for them will help them in many ways. It will give them hope, something they did not have back in their home country.

What do you hope to do with your degree from Spalding, and does your immigrant experience influence your goals for your academic career, your professional career or your life?

I hope to achieve the greatest in my life. I feel lucky that as a woman I have the opportunity here in America to pursue the highest education, while many girls in Afghanistan do not have access nor the right to education. My bachelor’s degree from Spalding University will open up many doors towards my goals of becoming a dentist in the future. Being an immigrant and aiming for such as challenging and competitive field does encourage me and motivative me towards my professional career.

Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. Today’s featured faculty member is Dr. Jennifer Doyle, Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the School of Natural Science, which awards the Bachelor of  Science in Natural Science and offers biology, chemistry, math and other science courses that many undergraduate students need to apply to health-related professional schools such as med school, dental school, vet school, physical therapy school and pharmacy school. Dr. Doyle holds a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University and earned her master’s and doctorate from the University of Kentucky.

What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?

My favorite thing is the family aspect I get here at Spalding between the faculty and staff and also my students. I really get to know my students and their family background and really just get to help be their support system, which you cannot always get at large universities.

What is your academic specialty, areas of expertise or research?

I am a biologist, so I teach various biology classes, but some of my favorites are cell biology and genetics. My doctorate is in plant pathology, and I studied how pathogens and host cells interact on the cellular level. My current research is on viruses that can hopefully glean new findings that could benefit scientific knowledge about human diseases.

LEARN MORE | Overview of the Bachelor of Science in Natural Science
RELATED | Q&A with Natural Science faculty Jeremy White, math professor
RELATED | Spalding, Sullivan announce pathway for pharmacy students

Why is natural science a good option for new students to consider as their major?

The natural science program at Spalding really has one-on-one interactions that help students because they are taking difficult courses. Personalized instruction allows professors to tweak their teaching to better fit the smaller classes. The opportunities that exist at large universities to take challenging science courses also exist here, but just at a more personalized level.

What is an interesting thing that you keep in your office?

I have a fish fossil that my dad brought back from Brazil for me when I was 6 or 7 years old. It is one of those things that reminds me that even though in high school I did not think I would be a biologist, it has always interested me. So I keep that to remind me that deep down it is who I am and that the field of study you choose to go into should be something that really fascinates you.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

When former students come back after graduation and they are continuing doing what they love. For example, I just had a former student who just graduated from veterinary school and received a master’s degree in public health. Her coming back and having such a good experience in graduate school was rewarding. I love hearing from former students and knowing they got everything they needed to be successful from Spalding.

At Spalding, we like to say, “Today is a great day to change the world.” How do you think your role at Spalding is helping you change the world or the world of your students?

I think it helps change the world because I am putting future scientists into the world. I see future doctors, researchers, veterinary scientists and physical therapists, and I know they will go out and do something great. It is almost like a logarithmic scale because it keeps growing and inspiring others to do great.

FACULTY FOCUS FRIDAY ARCHIVE | Read all of our professor Q&As

Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. Today’s featured faculty member is Jeremy White, Associate Professor of Mathematics in the School of Natural Science. Dr. White holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Louisville. 

What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?

I enjoy mathematics and how it’s a big puzzle with several pieces, which allows me to explain math in several different ways. I like interacting with students, and I enjoy presenting mathematics in an enthusiastic way to give students a positive experience. Additionally, the small class size allows me to see students progress and catch students who need additional help.

What is your academic specialty, areas of expertise or research?

My PhD is in Mathematics, and here at Spalding I teach fundamentals in the School of Natural Science. My research area is in Lattice Theory, which involves discrete mathematics, which deals with analyzing math structures.

Why is your college/school a good option for new students to consider as their major? 

The sciences are an exciting area and lays a good foundation for all students. This could be beneficial for someone who is interested in the medical field, but it may be a longer path because it is a general degree. If a student is unsure but is interested in sciences, this would be beneficial especially if they were interested in medical school, dental school or physical therapy or another health profession. We try to prepare students to be successful in graduate school.

What is an interesting thing that you keep in your office?

I have an American bald eagle touch lamp that I received from running in a race. I used to be a runner, and I went to a race in Shelbyville and won my age bracket. Instead of an award, they laid out items on picnic tables and said to pick something, so I picked out this lamp.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Helping students make connections within mathematics is rewarding. For instance, oftentimes students just need to be shown math in a different way than what they were taught in high school to understand the material. For a lot of students, I may be teaching their last math class they will ever have to take, so maybe they will leave the math classroom without a bad taste.

At Spalding, we like to say, “Today is a great day to change the world.” How do you think your role at Spalding is helping you change the world or the world of your students?

I am hoping that students will not be afraid to ask questions because math is not easy. I want my students to know that I still have to work through problems just like they do. Everyone has to work through the early stages of math and work through the problems. Hopefully they leave feeling more confident about not just mathematics but other areas of study.

LAST WEEK’S FACULTY FOCUS FRIDAY | Minda Reves, BFA in Creative Writing Director

RELATED | School of Natural Science, Sullivan University form pharmacy pathway

Spalding University and the Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences have signed a Pathway Agreement partnership that will allow Spalding students to complete Sullivan’s pharmacy program at an accelerated pace while completing their Bachelor of Science degree at Spalding.

The agreement, signed Monday, July 8, 2019, by top administrators of both schools, establishes a pathway in which Spalding University students who are studying natural sciences and are on a pre-pharmacy track can transfer to Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences after three years at Spalding. Upon completing the first year of Sullivan’s accelerated Pharm.D. program, the students can transfer those credit hours back to Spalding for completion of their Bachelor of Science degree.

“Students that may be interested in attending the Doctor of Pharmacy, or Pharm.D., degree program at Sullivan University can take all of their pre-requisite coursework at Spalding University,” said Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Associate Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Dale English. “This coursework allows them to work towards a Bachelor of Science degree at Spalding University as well as set themselves up for application to and matriculation into the Pharm.D. program.

“While this program does not currently guarantee admission into the Sullivan Pharm. D. program, we have found the students that attend Spalding University are highly competitive candidates for admission into our program,” Dr. English said.

This agreement specifically applies to natural science students who leave Spalding before they earn their bachelor’s degree, typically after three years. Admission to Sullivan is not guaranteed, but Spalding students who complete the requirements will be guaranteed to receive an admissions interview.

“The agreement would create a convenient ‘3+3’ pathway for students to complete both a bachelor’s degree from Spalding and a doctor of pharmacy degree from Sullivan in six total years, which is a year faster – and thus more affordable – than would normally be the case if they sought both degrees,” said Spalding University Provost Dr. John Burden.

“The Pathway Agreement creates a clearly defined option for Spalding pre-pharmacy students to attend a local pharmacy school and complete their bachelor’s degree, even if they leave Spalding after three years,” Dr. Burden said. “This partnership helps solidify Spalding as a strong option for pre-pharmacy students to reach their professional goals.”

A major benefit to students is the ability to complete a Pharm.D. degree up to two years faster than a more traditional academic path.

“Most Pharm.D. degree programs take as many as seven to eight years to complete,” Dr. English said. “The six years to complete their Pharm.D. degree is the shortest amount of time to complete this process. In addition to completing one’s Pharm.D. degree in this time, the student also obtains both a B.S. degree as well as their Pharm.D. degree.”

The schools are looking forward to working together on the Pathway Agreement.

“The smaller overall size of both of these institutions provides a greater faculty to student ratio as well as an intimate family atmosphere,” Dr. English said. “Faculty at both institutions pride themselves on being incredibly student-centered and know their students beyond the classroom. Actively engaging with students to assist them in their future career aspirations and endeavors is a key component of faculty engagement at both universities.”

Spalding University held its annual Commencement ceremony on Saturday at Canaan Christian Church, conferring bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to 614 students. Spalding also extended its tradition of conferring honorary degrees to members of the public who have made contributions to the greater good as well as awards to outstanding alumni, faculty and undergraduate students.

This year, the Spalding Board of Trustees presented three honorary doctorates – to business and community leader Ulysses Lee “Junior” Bridgeman (Honorary Doctor of Laws), to Humana co-founder David Jones Sr. (Honorary Doctor of Public Service) and to Sister of Charity Federation NGO representative to the United Nations Sister Teresa Kotturan, SCN (Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters).

Spalding presented the Caritas Medal – its highest honor for alumna of the year – to nursing leader Shirley Powers, who earned her bachelor of science in nursing from Spalding in 1972.

Dr. Pattie Dillon, Associate Professor of history and the Chair of the School of Liberal Studies, was named the Outstanding Faculty Award winner for 2019.

Spalding bestowed the honor of Faculty Emeritus/Emerita on three long-serving faculty members who are retiring with at least 25 years of service each at the university – School of Business Assistant Professor of Management David Hudson, School of Nursing Professor and Graduate Program Director Dr. Pamela King and School of Natural Science Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Marlene Will.

The two undergraduate student award winners were Teresa San Ngyuen, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, who received the Mother Catherine Spalding Service Learning Award; and Kelsey Hamilton, Bachelor of Science in Education (Secondary and Middle Grades), who received the Meagher Senior Award.

Here’s a closer look at the honorary degree recipients and award winners from 2019, and congratulations to them all:

Honorary Doctor of Laws – Junior Bridgeman
He’s the owner and chief executive officer of Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Co., LLC, which owns and operates a Coca-Cola production and manufacturing facility in Lenexa, Kansas, and 17 Coca-Cola distribution facilities sprinkled across the American heartland.

Prior to the 2017 acquisition of the Heartland bottling operations, Bridgeman was the owner and chief executive officer of various companies operating over 450 restaurants in 20 states, including 263 Wendy’s restaurants and 123 Chili’s restaurants, and his companies received several prestigious awards within the industry.

Bridgeman attended the University of Louisville, where he graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. He was a three-year letter-winner and starter on the U of L basketball team, receiving All-American honors as a senior. He played professionally from 1975 to ’86 as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers.

Bridgeman serves or has served on multiple governing boards, including for Meijer Inc., Churchill Downs, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the James Graham Brown Foundation, Simmons College, the West End School and U of L, where he was board chair.

Bridgeman’s personal honors include membership in the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and being named a recipient of the Volunteers of America Tribute Award for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky; the John Thompson Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award; and the Coach John Wooden Key to Life Award.

Honorary Doctorate of Public Service – David A. Jones Sr.
He co-founded Humana Inc. in 1961 and served as chief executive officer for 37 years and board chair for 44 years prior to retiring in 2005. He served as founding board chairman of Hospira until his retirement in 2007. He is a retired director of Abbott Laboratories and several other companies.

Jones was a member of The Business Roundtable and co-founder and past chair of the Healthcare Leadership Council, a group of about 50 CEOs of the nation’s largest health care organizations.

Jones, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and his wife, Betty, have five children and 11 grandchildren.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville in 1954, where he won the outstanding senior award.  He also became a Certified Public Accountant that year. After three years of Navy service he entered Yale University, earning a law degree in 1960, while also serving on the economics faculty from 1958 to 1960. He received the Yale Law School Medal in 1990 and the Yale Medal in 1992.

In 2003, he received Romania’s highest civilian award, the Order of Merit, for his role from 1990-2006 in rebuilding that nation’s devastated health care system.

He also holds honorary doctorates from the Chicago Medical School, the Claremont Graduate School, the University of Louisville, Middlebury College, Transylvania University and Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania.

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters – Teresa Kotturan, SCN
In her role as the NGO representative at the UN for the Sisters of Charity Federation, Kotturan’s primary objective is to bring the concerns of the 2,700 members of the federation and all those with whom and to whom they minister in 26 countries to the global stage of the UN. She is committed to raising awareness through the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people live in peace and prosperity.

Kotturan has been a Sister of Charity of Nazareth for 49 years and previously served as Vice President of the SCN. She has also served as the Provincial Superior of the India Province for eight years.

Kotturan works to ensure that the voices of women religious and those they serve are heard. She strives to raise awareness for pressing global concerns such as poverty eradication, lack of access to education, human trafficking, human rights, global citizenship, migration and inter-religious dialogue, social development, financing for development, climate change and environmental sustainability.

Caritas Medalist (Alumna of the Year) – Shirley Burns Powers
The 1972 graduate of Spalding with a bachelor of science degree in nursing contributed to the advancement of health care and the profession of nursing in Louisville. She served  as the Chief Information Officer for Norton Hospital and implemented the first clinical information system in the state. She advanced to become Administrator for Norton Hospital and Senior Executive Officer for Norton Healthcare.

Upon retirement, Shirley started Powers Consulting Inc. and worked as Coordinator of the Greater Louisville Workforce Consortium for the Kentucky Hospital Association and Jefferson County Public Schools to implement the health care magnets in three high schools. She has served as a consultant to the Humana Foundation on a tour to Romania to assist in the writing of a health care plan for that country and to Spalding University on matters of nursing and finance. Burns has served on the boards of many organizations, including ones focused on health care, nursing and helping children. Among the myriad awards and honors she’s received, Burns was a recipient in 1996 of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Spalding for Leadership in Nursing. Now she is receiving the university’s highest honor for any alum.

Outstanding Faculty Award – Pattie Dillon
With courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, Jim Crow, gender history, and U.S. history since 1945, she has been praised for creating curriculum that is both rigorous and relevant to current events, and she is well-known around campus as being a very engaging teacher.

Dillon has undertaken scholarship work with the National Council for History Education, the Lilly Conference on College Teaching, and the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Dillon serves as Faculty Senate President and the Board of Trustees’ Faculty Representative. She is also the faculty mentor for the mission societies and has served on several search committees. Off campus, she serves as President of the Kentucky Association of Teachers of History; as school board member for St. James Catholic School; as a member of the Dialogue on Diversity Conference Committee; and as Lead History Scholar for the Rivers Institute at Hanover College and the NEH Picturing America Grant’s Picturing America’s Changing Landscapes Workshop.

Designation as Professor Emeritus – David Hudson
He has taught of range of management courses in the School of Business while also possessing knowledge and experience in human resources, sales, marketing and public relations. He has been a faculty athletic representative for the Golden Eagles’ athletic program, and he is a 20-year U.S. Army veteran

Designation as Professor Emerita – Pam King
She has trained scores of nurses, nurse practitioners and other health care leaders as the director of the graduate nursing program. Outside of Spading, she has volunteered at the Family Community Clinic, which provides medical care to individuals and families who lack health insurance, and she’s used her position there as a platform to provide service learning opportunities for Spalding students.

Designation as Professor Emerita – Marlene Will
Dr. Will has spent most of her adult life associated with Spalding. She earned a bachelor’s degree in math and a master of arts in teaching at Spalding, then spent more than four decades as a professor at the university, where she also earned her doctorate in education. In teaching a variety of math courses – from college alegbra to statistics, as well as mathematics for teachers – Dr. Will played a part in the college journey of countless students from all manner of majors and degree programs.

Mother Catherine Spalding Service Learning Award – Teresa San Nguyen
Annually, this award recipient embodies the spiritual values of faith, hope and charity, which emulate Spalding’s founder, Mother Catherine Spalding. On campus, Nguyen has been a work-study in the library and a psychology tutor. Off campus, she has been heavily involved with the Vietnamese Eucharist Movement, leading youth groups there, and she volunteers at Centerstone in the crisis management center.

Mother Rose Meagher Senior Award – Kelsey Hamilton
This award goes annually to a person who has performed well academically and has a proven record as a mature leader and member of the campus community. Hamilton has been praised by faculty for her academic excellence, work ethic, maturity, judgment, helpfulness and creativity. As a work-study in the College of Education and as a student teacher at the Brown School, she has been praised for her initiative to complete tasks, her professionalism and her knowledge of mathematics content. She has also been a successful member of the Spalding track and field team and active member of the Kentucky Education Association Student Program. Hamilton collected more than 500 children’s books for the Rutherford Elementary Reads program.

As the Spalding University women’s basketball team has surged to a school-record 12 straight wins and a trip to the conference tournament, the Golden Eagles have relied on senior Alex Martin to carry a major all-around load.

The 5-foot-6 Martin, was already a three-time all-conference player heading into 2018-19, but she has saved her best season for last.

She leads Spalding (19-6, 14-2 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) in scoring (17.2 ppg) and is tied for the team lead in rebounding (6.6), both career bests. She’s also first on the team in steals (48) and second in assists (63).

She’ll lead the second-seeded Golden Eagles against No. 3 Westminster at 7 p.m. EST Thursday in the SLIAC Tournament semifinals at Greenville. The winner will face the No. 1 Greenville-No. 4 Webster in Saturday’s title game with an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament on the line. Spalding is participating in its first SLIAC Tournament in three years and will be vying for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2015.

“If I could have written a book about how my senior year would go, this would be it,” Martin said. “This has been amazing.”

Learn more about the Spalding women’s basketball program

Martin said helping Spalding get back to the conference tournament was her No. 1 goal this season and that it’s exciting to get there with so much momentum.

The Golden Eagles were only 7-6 after losing back-to-back games by a total of six points at Westminster and at Greenville on Jan. 3 and Jan 5. But they’ve hit their stride since and avenged both league losses when Westminster and Greenville visited Louisville. Spalding’s 75-65 win over Greenville on Feb. 6 was the Panthers’ only conference loss.

Martin missed the first five games of the season with a toe injury – one of multiple injuries the Golden Eagles have battled this season. At one point, Spalding had only eight players available and was forced to have people playing out of position to fill out the lineup. But Martin said those setbacks helped Spalding in the long run because the players matured and learned new roles and skills.

Martin, for instance, played power forward some out of necessity, and she said that helped improve her rebounding in the post.

“Our coaches say every day that we’re not quitters,” Martin said “We could be down 15, and wont quit. We just don’t give up. If somebody goes down, we say, ‘OK, let’s pick up the slack somewhere else.'”

Martin certainly hasn’t been slacking in the scoring department. She reached double figures in all but two regular-season games. She topped 20 points five times, including a career-high 35 points in the loss at Westminster. She was twice named the SLIAC Player of the Week.

Though she’s Spalding’s top scorer, Martin said passing is her favorite part of the game.

The Ballard High School alumna said she has always been a fan of NBA point guard and Louisville native Rajon Rondo and enjoyed watching him facilitate the offense and set teammates up for baskets.

“Seeing other people’s success and seeing other people score (is satisfying),” Martin said. “You can always hit a three, but having that pretty pass, you might only get to do it a couple times a game, so that’s the best part.”

Martin looks back on her Spalding career fondly. She said she was drawn to stay home and play for the Golden Eagles because of the reputation of coach Charlie Just and the opportunity for her family to attend all her games.

Martin is in Spalding’s natural science and pre-athletic training program. She’ll graduate in June, then be back next school year to complete her master’s of science in athletic training. Eventually, she hopes to become a trainer for a college basketball team.

At Spalding University, a typical undergraduate student can expect the following:

**Final-exam weeks with only one or two tests to cram for.

**Opportunities to focus all your class and study time on a course you really love, or on a course you find really difficult and needs extra attention.

**A full week off every six weeks to recharge your batteries and do what you want to do.

That sounds pretty good, right?

That’s how it works all year at Spalding, which is unique from other universities in Kentucky by having a nontraditional academic schedule made up of six six-week blocks in which students typically take only one or two classes at a time.

“When I first heard about it,” Spalding sophomore health science major Ontario Hullum said, “I thought it was too good to be true.”

But it is true. Spalding was ranked by as one of the nation’s five best colleges with nontraditional schedules.

Hullum said Spalding’s schedule makes college feel less stressful.

“At other colleges, you take like five exams toward the end of a semester, and that’s real stressful and makes that whole week really hectic,” he said. “Here, you take two exams every session, and it just spreads things out.”

Spalding’s format is designed for students still to graduate in four years and get all the credits they need. Staff and faculty advisers work closely with students to help them stay on top of their requirements.

“(The six-week schedule) makes it easier for you to do your work and manage your time,” said Marcus Montgomery, a sophomore majoring in business administration. “Instead of having five classes throughout the week, you have only two at the most, and you definitely have time to do your work.”

Now that he’s accustomed to the rhythm of taking one or two classes at a time for six weeks each, Montgomery said, “I couldn’t imagine going to another school and taking like five classes for a whole semester.”

How Spalding’s block schedules work

Spalding has six six-week sessions (three per semester) during the primary academic year, plus another six-week session during the summer.

Just like at universities with traditional semester-long sessions, Spalding advises students to take an average of 15 credit hours (or essentially five classes at three credit hours each) per semester, according to Academic Support Director Katherine Walker-Payne.

With three six-week blocks per semester, that means that a typical Spalding student might have one six-week session with one class per semester and two six-week sessions with two classes per semester. (Some students take more than two classes in a session, potentially setting themselves up to graduate in less than four years.)

A typical class meets four straight days each week (Monday through Thursday) for 100 minutes, condensing more class time into a shorter period. (Another popular aspect for undergrads is that almost everyone has Fridays off.)

Junior Carly Lynch said the six-week sessions were the main reason she chose Spalding, and they’ve helped her succeed in working toward a double major in health science and psychology.

Lynch knew she wanted to pursue a career in occupational therapy, and she liked that Spalding would put her on that path while letting her focus at any given time on just one or two of her important required courses, instead of five or six at once.

“I have Anatomy and Physiology II right now, and I’m able to spend all my time on Anatomy and Physiology II and really learn the material rather than just study for a test,” she said.

Walker-Payne echoed the sentiment, saying that the Spalding system gives students “the opportunity to really immerse themselves in subject matter over a short duration of time.”

“It allows them to progress through their degree program efficiently so long as they stay on track with their courses scheduled each session,” she said. “Absolutely, it’s a great way for students to dig deep into topics and really have an opportunity for deep learning.”

Good for working students

Spalding students who have jobs said the schedule format makes it more convenient for them.

Pre-nursing major Olivia Johnson said being able to focus on one or two classes at a time makes it easier for her to have her job working the night shift at UPS.

Sophomore Brandon Cochran, who is majoring in creative writing, said he’s able to hold two jobs – in the university writing center and at a grocery store.

“I would not have that opportunity (to work) if I didn’t have these lighter class sessions (as far as number of courses being taken) that go by faster,” he said. “So if (wanting or needing a job during college) is a big priority, Spalding is definitely a good place because this is one of the few places you are going to be able to work a lot of hours and also not ruin yourself (academically), because Spalding’s class schedule is so flexible and manageable.”

Every 6 weeks, take a break

Students said they enjoy the weeklong breaks that follow the completion of each six-week session.

On break weeks, students often take a vacation, relax at home or pick up a few hours at their jobs. Students said their parents enjoy it, too, because it offers families frequent chances to reconnect.

“It’s fantastic,” Cochran said. “I’m sure everybody likes having breaks; I know I do. And we still finish on time, still have regular holidays and stuff like that. I think it’s great.”

The school year at Spalding does last a little longer than at most universities, extending into mid-June, but the breaks in between make up for it, Lynch said.

“It’s awesome,” said Lynch, who took a trip to Florida during a break week this fall. “I didn’t really understand it at first. I wondered if we would be in school for the same time as everyone else (as far as the yearly calendar), but we get out the same time as everyone else. It’s just a little later – in June – but with getting a week off every six weeks it’s worth it.”