Focus to Finish

focus to finish logo

Focus is a vital part of achieving the goals you set for yourself. The more effort and attention you can bring to bear on a challenge, the better your chances of success.

Faster. Flexible. Focused.

CSM’s Focus to Finish improves learning experiences and outcomes with a course structure that lets you concentrate more on each of your classes.

Beginning with the Fall 2021 Semester, Focus to Finish greatly expands the classes we offer in the 7-week course format. Instead of taking all your courses in a given semester simultaneously for four months, Focus to Finish lets you take half of your classes in the first 7-week session and the other half in the second 7-week session.

focus to finish breakdown

Focus to Finish splits the fall and spring semesters into two 7-week sessions and offers an alternative to the traditional 15-week, semester-long course format.

Advantages

Focus to Finish offers significant short- and long-term benefits for our students. Devoting more of your energy and effort to each class will make for a better learning experience and better results from your education.

  • FOCUSED: Attention, time, and effort are limited resources. Taking fewer classes at a time lets you use your resources more efficiently and effectively.
  • FLEXIBLE: The 7-week format lets you adapt your college experience to your life more easily, shifting your course schedule to fit with your other commitments and responsibilities.
  • FASTER: Complete course sequences twice as quickly when you have the option to take the second course immediately after the first.
  • SUCCESSFUL: Students do better across the board when they have less to keep track of at once. Dividing the semester in half leads to better grades, faster completion times, higher graduation rates, and fewer withdrawals.

The Same—Just Better

What changes, and what doesn’t? In Focus to Finish, you’ll take the same number of classes in a semester, earn the same number of credits, do the same amount of coursework, and spend the same number of hours in class.

Focus to Finish just breaks the semester into two halves. For example, a full-time student taking four 3-credit courses will take two courses in the first 7-week session and two courses in the second 7-week session, instead of taking all four courses at once for four months.

How it Works

Focus to Finish splits the semester into two 7-week sessions and offers an alternative to the traditional 15-week, semester-long course format

YEAR ONE (2021-2022)

FALL 2021

7-Week Session I
Class 1 (3 credits)
Class 2 (3 credits)
7-Week Session II
Class 1 (3 credits)
Class 2 (3 credits)
TOTAL - 12 CREDITS

SPRING 2022

7-Week Session I
Class 1 (3 credits)
Class 2 (3 credits)
7-Week Session II
Class 1 (3 credits)
Class 2 (3 credits)

TOTAL - 12 CREDITS

SUMMER 2022

7-Week Session
Class 1 (3 credits)
Class 2 (3 credits)

TOTAL - 6 CREDITS

YEAR TWO (2022-2023)

FALL 2022

7-Week Session I
Class 1 (3 credits)
Class 2 (3 credits)
7-Week Session II
Class 1 (3 credits)
Class 2 (3 credits)
TOTAL - 12 CREDITS

SPRING 2023

7-Week Session I
Class 1 (3 credits)
Class 2 (3 credits)
7-Week Session II
Class 1 (3 credits)
Class 2 (3 credits)

TOTAL - 12 CREDITS

SUMMER 2023

7-Week Session
Class 1 (3 credits)
Class 2 (3 credits)

TOTAL - 6 CREDITS

Frequently Asked Questions

As a general rule, you can register for a maximum of nine (9) credits in a single 7-week session, although this limit can vary depending on special circumstances. Visit the Catalog for more information on limitations and exceptions to maximum credits per term.

Our recommendation is that students take two classes in each 7-week session and two classes in the summer session (where applicable).

Full-time status is based on the number of credit hours you are registered for in a semester. Taking at least 12 credit hours in a semester—combining 7-Week Session I, 7-Week Session II, and 15-Week Session if applicable—makes you a full-time student

You will register for 15-Week Session, 7-Week Session I, and 7-Week Session II classes at the same time during the semester registration period.

These dates will vary from semester to semester. Dates will be posted on the academic calendar each semester.

Credit hours for your classes will not change. If you take two 3-credit classes in a 7-week format, you will earn six credit hours.

About seventy percent of our courses will be offered in the 7-week format, with 15-week options available for some classes. Use the course schedule in Student Planning to identify the length of courses in upcoming semesters.

The biggest difference between Focus to Finish’s 7-week structure and the traditional 15-week semester-long model isn’t the amount of something in a semester; it’s the number of individual courses and subjects you’re handling at once. The number of hours you spend in class won’t change. For example, let’s say you were taking four 15-week courses, and you spent three hours in class for each of the four courses, for a total of 12 in-class hours.

In Focus to Finish, those four courses are split up into two 7-week sessions, with two courses in each chunk. Each week you’ll spend twelve hours in class: six hours in one course, six hours in the other course.

The content of each course stays the same in Focus to Finish. The amount of work and effort will remain the same each week, but by taking half as many classes at once, you can devote more of your attention and energy to each.

Yes! In Focus to Finish, both students and faculty are able to focus on fewer courses at once, letting them devote more of their time, attention, and energy to achieving the best possible educational outcome for our students.

Financial aid is based on enrollment status in a semester, regardless of whether a course is in the 7-week or 15-week format.

Financial aid for a term will be disbursed roughly halfway through the session, for both 15-week and 7-week classes. The amount of aid remains the same; it’s simply split into multiple disbursements. Please note that—because financial aid is based on enrollment status, that is, the number of credits—if you fail a class in 7-Week Session I and don’t pick up a “replacement” course in 7-Week Session II, your financial aid will be calculated based on the total remaining number of credits you are enrolled in for the semester.

If you have questions regarding your financial aid, please contact CSM's financial assistance office at finaid@csmd.edu or 301-934-7531.

No, your benefits will not be affected. VA will pay your benefits during the dates of each term that you enroll in.

The VA pays the monthly housing allowance on a monthly basis, in the rears. After the completion of a month. If you are a full-time student, you will receive the maximum housing allowance based on your enrollment.

However, if the student isn’t enrolled for the full month, their housing would be adjusted. For example, if you’re a full-time student starting the spring semester on January 19, you would be eligible for housing benefits based on the enrollment period of January 19 to 31 for the month of January then February would be Feb 1- 28, and March would be March 1- 10th.

VA pays the MHA only when you are enrolled. They do not pay for breaks or holidays that extend beyond seven days.

If you have questions regarding your VA benefits, please contact CSM’s veterans benefits office at veteransbenefits@csmd.edu or 301-934-7656 (La Plata) or 240-725-5421 (Leonardtown and Prince Frederick).

CMS Page Edit