CUC Students React to Shortened Fall and Winter Breaks


Jeremy Lozada

Senior Daniel Valdez enjoys a walk through the Martin Luther Garden by Addison Hall

Jeremy Lozada

Concordia University Chicago students spent more time in school this Fall maybe without realizing it.

In 2020, CUC eliminated what had been an annual Fall Break, which was previously a four-day long weekend from Friday to Monday during the second week of October.

The 2021-2022 academic calendar also cut one week out of what used to be a four-week-long Winter Break. Classes will resume in 2022 just three weeks after the end of the Fall 2021 semester, with two weeks off in December and one week off in January.

“The decision came with the complexity of our student body,” said Dr. Erik Ankerberg, CUC provost. The university has 1,100 undergrad students and 4,800 post-traditional students, including the graduate program. Ankerberg explained that these “distinct areas of the student body come with different academic calendars that we are now fully shifting away from this year to create better alignment between the calendars.”

Prior to the change, instructors who taught undergrad courses along with post-traditional courses faced conflicting calendars with different semester start and end dates. “We tried to align everything to maintain the contact hours between faculty and students in all areas of the student body,” said Ankerberg.

Eliminating Fall Break and shortening Winter Break took some students by surprise.

“I don’t get the change,” said senior Daniel Valdez. “I feel like if it was explained at the least it wouldn’t be as frustrating to me.”

Many students only realized there was no Fall Break mid-way through the semester, or if their professors mentioned the change in class.

“We are not the only ones that need these breaks,” said senior Alex Richardson, who believed that students and faculty both could use time off from class. “I’m completely burnt out, and this could be because of the shift to in-person learning again.”

Richardson added that a Fall Break this past semester would have particularly helped students who are feeling this “burden of returning to campus after the pandemic.”

Senior Hannah Sochowski said that she often feels stuck in a cycle of falling behind in her studies, then overworking to catch up. Periodic time off from class helps her reset.

“The shortened Winter Break does not concern me as much because we are still getting solid time away from school,” Sochowski said. “However, I do think it may be too short for some students to truly get the rest they need to prepare for the next semester.” 

At the same time, Sochowski said she will miss her usual Fall Break trip to see her friends and family in her hometown of Red Bud, IL.

“There are many people that I miss, and knowing that I won’t see them for another month and a half often weighs on my mind,” said Sochowski.