Summer courses offer many benefits for U students

Courtney Lewis

While some students enjoy warm summer breezes on the beach, others enjoy the cool air conditioning inside while taking a summer class.

Although summer classes cover the same material as semester-long classes but in a smaller time period, there is an opportunity for faculty to diversify their teaching techniques and students to take interesting seminars.

Summer session director Jack Johnson said enrollment has increased slightly from last summer, with 18,000 students taking classes.

“Because students usually only take one class at a time, it allows them to focus more on learning,” Johnson said.

Summer session is optional for students who want to catch up or get ahead with their schooling, but Johnson said many students take advantage of the time.

Johnson also said summer session is a good time for working professionals and teachers to come back to school to enrich their careers.

Deanne Magnusson, director of continuing professional studies in the May to summer session for the College of Education and Human Development, said many of the school’s courses are geared toward professionals seeking licenses.

Although the school does offer classes to undergraduate students to achieve a leadership minor, Magnusson said a lot of the summer classes are tailored to a specific school or organization agency for graduate students.

“The summer is useful – especially for faculty – to develop in special topics,” Magnusson said. “We work very carefully to develop those courses and institutes into flexible formats.”

The College of Education and Human Development offers the
second largest group of classes (the College of Liberal Arts offers the most), and Magnusson said she hopes people will take advantage of the classes offered in the summer.

Summer classes have the same number of contact hours as fall and spring session classes. Since the session is shorter, classes meet more often.

“It’s always going to be more intensive in summer courses,” said Ole Gram, College of Liberal Arts curriculum coordinator. He recommends taking only one or two classes in the summer.

Gram said summer is a good time to get ahead on requirements, especially in a second language.

He said the college tries to offer fun classes during the summer to get students interested.

“The college is always open to different opportunities,” Gram said.

A nice advantage to summer classes, Johnson said, is the size. Summer classes tend to be smaller, with approximately 20 students to a class.

For Magnusson, the course size directly relates to how much students will learn. The college’s small classes relate to effective teaching and learning, she said.

Courtney Lewis welcomes comments at [email protected]