The decision to implement a fall reading week and shift to 12-week terms comes as a result of listening to student feedback across all faculties, Concordia's commitment to health and wellness, including mental health, and aligning with the practices of other Canadian universities. Concordia's goal with these changes is to continue to support students and faculty in order to create an environment where everyone can thrive.
With the launch of the fall reading week, each term will move to 12 weeks for consistency in the length of the summer, fall and winter terms.
Offers catch-up time for coursework and preparation for midterms;
Accommodates those who wish to travel home to visit family;
Offers mental health benefits such as lowering anxiety and stress by giving a pause during the term;
Creates conditions for increased student success.
For faculty, a week-long break from teaching:
Offers catch-up time for teaching activities (course prep, grading, etc.);
Provides intensive research time in the middle of the term;
Supports writing of grant applications during high season;
Facilitates the planning of out-of-town academic outreach activities.
Learn about what's to come as we work on implementing these changes
PHASE 1 – FALL 2021 TO SPRING 2022 In 2021, the working groups were created and this initiative began, with collaboration between stakeholders, faculty councils, executives, and departments. In 2022, the focus is on communicating to create awareness of the fall reading week and 12-week term initiative ↓
PHASE 2 – SUMMER 2022 TO SPRING 2023 Academic planning, training, logistics, and providing support and resources to faculty ↓
PHASE 3 – SUMMER 2023 Implementation of the changes; a 12-week term beginning in summer 2023, a 12-week fall term with the new reading week, and a winter 12-week term with its established reading week
These three groups are working on implementing this new initiative at Concordia.
This working group meets weekly to review 12-week term/fall reading week. The group is responsible for drafting the schedule for the 2023-2024 academic year with 12-week terms starting in summer 2023 and adding the fall reading week, and will review examples from other universities. The logistics group will also consult with the academic sector to set the dates for exams and identify any calendar changes necessary and address any logistical issues of making the transition.
This working group meets biweekly to review the 12-week term/fall reading week transition concerns and issues specific to internships and Co-ops. The group will review specific unique elements of academic programs with internships and will address concerns and make recommendations. The internship group includes representation from the faculties, and from cooperative education and will be a resource for departments who have specific concerns. The group will also review practices at other universities with a fall reading week and 12-week terms.
This working group meets biweekly to review the 12-week term/fall reading week transition to address any implication of the transition on accreditation concerns. The group includes representatives from each of the faculties with accredited programs and the Centre for Teaching and Learning.
Beginning in the 2023 academic year, a reading week will be implemented in the fall term along with the established reading week that takes place in the winter term. The reading weeks were created to offer a pause in structured academic activities each term so that students can catch up on work and visit friends and family, and to offer faculty a break from teaching to focus on research and preparation for future course work. The following guidelines were developed to provide clarity on the reading weeks.
The University will remain open during each reading week.
Optional activities may take place on our campuses to support student success and faculty development.
No test or quiz will be administered, nor will any assignment be due during the fall or winter reading weeks.
Only deferred and supplemental exams from the previous semester may be held during the reading weeks.
No academic activity or event that requires mandatory attendance will be scheduled.
Internship /fieldwork/ co-op and work-integrated learning hours will continue during the reading weeks. No assignment will be due and no course meeting will be scheduled and students are encouraged to take a break if they are on track with hours and external agency requirements.
Other than the President’s holiday during the winter reading week, working hours will remain the same for staff.
The shift to a 12-week term was a decision made by Concordia's Senate to permit the university to add a week-long break around the Thanksgiving weekend, and to allow more time between terms. Many other Canadian universities also offer a fall reading week.
Updated information will be added to this page, and questions or requests for information can be addressed by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Information sessions will also be organized in spring and fall 2022.