Fasttrack degree completion with summer school
Summer term can help reduce the stress of carrying extensive credit loads during the regular school year. Students can also catch up with their educational journey if they are prepared for the more compact summer sessions.
“The two things that students need to be aware of is the difference in time. Fall, winter and spring, those are all 10 weeks plus one week of final (exams). Summer term is going to be no more than eight weeks end to end, no finals week. And some of those (classes) are even only four weeks,” Dan Ruch, the transfer and academic advisor, says. “For instance, you can take Chemistry 112, normally a ten-week-long course. You can get that done in four weeks. So, you can imagine the intensity of that.” Because of this, Ruch generally advises students to take no more than 12 credits in summer sessions if they are used to taking 15 credits over the normal year.
Students interested in summer school should check which classes are offered soon by visiting the Self-Service option in Student View. Through this, students can look up any of the courses that may be available during the summer term. Currently, the 2023-2024 College catalog isn’t published yet, and it is currently unknown when it will be available for students and the public.
“We don’t offer nearly as many courses in the summer as we do in fall, winter and spring,” Ruch says. “A lot of our faculty can depart for the summer, come back in fall. So that can be a challenge students should be aware of.”
Summer sessions help students who have big workloads mixed with small amounts of time. “For those students who couldn’t quite finish out spring term, they can take a couple summer courses to finish out their degree. So, it’s a really nice thing (that helps them) still go on to their university if they’re a transfer,” Ruch says.
For many non-traditional students, a summer day is just like any other day of the year. “They have to keep working during the summer. So, taking a three-month break in between their coursework (doesn’t make sense). Why do that? Summer courses offer that opportunity to continue your journey and finish out sooner.”
When registering for summer classes, students should be aware that the new class numbering and naming system will have started. “We are changing from the way we’ve always called the courses to something that in the short term is going to be a little painful to something that in the long run will be hugely helpful, and it’s called common course numbering,” Ruch says. “If you go and search for Math 243 right now, (the system will) be like ‘you’re not offering that this summer’, but that’s because it’s now called STAT, or Statistics 243.” For example, Writing 121, previously called WR121, will become WR121Z.
This new system will be a bit confusing for faculty and students. “Already I’m like ‘Oh, that’s right. They changed this,’” Ruch says.
Ruch explains that it may be painful in the short term but will be very helpful to many students in the long term. “For instance, speech. If you look up Speech, you won’t find it. They’re changing it to Communications because more colleges have called it Communications. It’s the same course that we’ve taught in the past,” Ruch says; “we’re just getting the names to line up across all the colleges.”
Students should also consider the shortened add-and-drop period. Usually, a student has a “whole first week to try out a class and (add or drop) it before the end of the week,” Ruch says. “That shortened down to three days.”
For students who have accessibility accommodations, Dustin Cosby, the accessibility services coordinator, will be available during the summer. “I keep basically the same schedule that the rest of this building would be open for,” Cosby says. “All of the accommodations, just like every other term, are in place, and the office is here to support.
“To students in general, when it comes to summer term, everything is accelerated because everything is either going to be a four or eight-week term, but it’s still that 10, 11 weeks’ worth of work,” Cosby says
Starting the summer term, the library will be under construction. Liz Teoli, the reference & instruction librarian, explains that because of this the temporary location for the library resources will be Wayne Crouch Hall, rooms 11 and 17. This area will not be available for community use due to limited space and staff.
The hour that this temporary library will be available is still to be determined. “It’s going to depend on staffing and needs, so I can’t give you an exact time frame. I’m just going to give a random guess. Probably nine to four with a break time for lunch,” Teoli says. “Again, everything with that part is up in the air, but I’m going to be the person you want to talk to about it because I am handling a lot of the portions that go with this.”
This area will have “places for students to study, computers, printers, and laptops will be available for checkout,” Teoli says.
Students will only be able to check out course reserve texts. “No (circulating collection) books. Everything that’s physically in this building will be either relocated to wherever it’s supposed to go, or it’s going to all be packed up and in storage containers in the parking lot,” Teoli says. “So, we won’t have access to any of our circulating collection.”
To keep up to date, Teoli suggests that students look at the library’s webpage, the associated blog, her “very high-tech whiteboard” at the entrance of the library, or talk to her at the library’s front desk.
The last piece of advice Ruch would like to leave students with is, “The more you can prepare early, the more you can have your courses picked out, your books purchased, all of that done before July 10, the less stress you have versus students who wait until July 10 to add courses,” Ruch says.
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