Which segment should I choose?
Each course offered by NSO can be taken for semester (.5), trimester (.33), or quarter (.25) credits. The amount of credit is based on the CONTENT REQUIRED for the credit needed at their school, NOT on the amount of time it takes to complete the worK or when it is done.
Students choose a segment based on their credit needs. We use LETTERS to designate the SEGMENT of CONTENT so as not to be confused with terms of time. Schools generally use numbers to designate terms of time (Semester 1, Trimester 2, Quarter 3 refer to time periods).
For the majority of students on either a regular semester schedule or a 4-period block, the choice will be for either the first or second semester of content, designated as .5 credit in our system:
- Sem A
- Sem B
Not all courses have two semester segments. The available segments are listed on the NSO course list. This may translate to a different credit amount at the school, but it will be listed as .5 credit on our transcripts.
For students who need to make up or substitute half of a semester credit (usually because they have completed or will complete the rest elsewhere), we do offer quarter credits, designated as .25 credit:
- Qtr A: 1st half of the work in Sem A
- Qtr B: 2nd half of Sem A
- Qtr C: 1st half of Sem B
- Qtr D: 2nd half of Sem B
Some courses will only have Qtr A-B.
For students who need to earn or make up a trimester credit at their home school, we offer the option for trimester, designated as .33 credit:
- Tri A: 2/3 of the work in Sem A (most common)
- Tri B: 1/3 of Sem A and 1/3 of Sem B
- Tri C: 2/3 of Sem B
For more on trimesters, see the topic below: Trimester credits
This will help distinguish between portions of content (SEGMENT) and periods of time (TERMS students follow in their home schools). Students can choose options for the time period they will spend on a course by entering a start and end date.
Teachers and counselors can view the SEGMENT of content in Genius by looking at the section name, and by the Segment identified on the Request or Current Enrollments screens.
Like chapters in a book
If you are having difficulty understanding which segment applies to you, consider this analogy.
The amount of content for a full-year course, like Spanish 1, is like a book with 12 chapters. The easiest way to divide it is into two parts:
- Sem A = Chapters 1-6
- Sem B = Chapters 7-12
So, if you need to read the whole book (complete all of Spanish 1), sign up for Sem A and Sem B (two separate enrollment requests).
But, if you’ve already done the first half, that is like having read chapters 1-6, and just needing to read chapters 7-12. You can sign up to do just the second half by enrolling for Sem B.
If you come from a district that is on trimesters, you can think of the “book” as divided into 3 parts:
- Tri A = Chapters 1-4
- Tri B = Chapters 5-8
- Tri C = Chapters 9-12
If you need to read the whole book, you can still sign up for Sem A and Sem B (it’s the same chapters, and the school can convert to their credits).
But, if you have already done Tri A (read Chapters 1-4), you can sign up for the parts you need yet by enrolling for Tri B or Tri C.
Or, if you need to make up Tri A (chapters 1-4), because you have already done Tri B and C (read Chapters 5-8 and 9-12), you can enroll for Tri A only.
In most cases, you will only need Tri A to satisfy a one-trimester credit class.
If you only need to earn or make up a quarter credit because that is what you need for your graduation requirements, that would be like needing to read ¼ of the book. But you can choose which part you need if you have already read part of it:
- Qtr A = Chapters 1-3
- Qtr B = Chapters 4-6
- Qtr C = Chapters 7-9
- Qtr D = Chapters 10-12
You would choose the correct quarter segment based on which portion of the course (which chapters of the book you need to read).
Single semester courses
Some courses do not have a full year of content, but only one semester. These courses are usually much simpler, because they can only be taken for Sem A, Tri A, Qtr A, or Qtr B.
If you are on a block schedule, or 5×3 trimester block, you will likely still need to enroll for a Sem A or B segment, rather than a quarter or trimester. In these cases, if you would complete all of Spanish 1 in either 2 block terms or two trimesters, you still need the .5 credit option, and should enroll for Sem A or B segment. Remember that the segment is the amount of content, so be sure to confirm with your counselor how much of a full year of course content you need to earn your school’s required credits.
If you have questions, please contact NSO Enrollment (firstname.lastname@example.org, 763-550-7117). We usually have worked with your counselors to determine the best choices for your school, and can clarify as needed.