Students enjoy variety, intensity of May session

Tim Sturrock

For the second year, more than 2,000 students are cramming an average of three credits into three-week May session courses.

In a College of Continuing Education survey of students who took May session classes last year, 80 percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their courses. Of the 448 students returning the survey, 95 percent said the same of the May session overall.

Jack Johnson, director of the May and summer sessions, said students find May session courses appealing for several reasons.

“It provides students the opportunity to take something kind of unusual; most of the courses offered in the May session aren’t available at any other time of the year,” Johnson said.

Other student motives include speeding up a degree program, more course intensity and the short, three-week duration, Johnson added.

Microbiology professor Anath Das’ Recombinant DNA course meets for seven and a half hours, five days a week.

According to the survey, most May session classes last year met five days a week for three hours.

Das said the intensity of laboratory work in his class mirrors graduate research in a way other undergraduate courses cannot.

And since his students only take one class, Das said they can concentrate more rigorously on the subject and course work.

Some May courses become 24-hour experiences. The University’s Global Campus office offers 10 such opportunities. While the Global Campus provides a culture and health course in Ecuador and a cultural history course in Mexico, all other courses convene in European countries such as England, Spain and Hungary.

About 400 students in the 2000-01 academic year – or a third of total
students studying abroad – traveled for the May session.

Lynn Anderson-Scott, global seminar program director for Global Campus, said interest in the three-week study abroad programs has increased since last year. Now Global Campus offers three additional courses during the May
session for a total of 10.

“For some students it’s a taste of study abroad,” Anderson-Scott said. “For some
students it fits better with family or job requirements.”


Tim Sturrock welcomes comments at [email protected]