|Summer school brings course knowledge at a quick pace|
|Written by Jacob Lambert, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Wednesday, 11 April 2012 11:16|
Now that the month of April is well underway, the end of yet another semester is fast approaching. But while most ISU students have already begun planning for a summer away from school, others find themselves preparing for academic overtime in summer school.
While community colleges remain a popular option amongst students looking to continue their academic progress, ISU hosts its own Summer Session, offering an abundance of accelerated courses, both online and in the classroom. These allow students to earn the credits they need in half the time of a regular semester.
Whether looking to boost their GPA, catch up on credits, or get a head-start on their required courses, Summer Session provides the opportunity for students to achieve all of the above.
“Continuing to earn credits throughout Summer Sessions provides the ability to ensure a timely graduation and completion of academic requirements,” Wendi Whitman, associate director of University College, said.
She added that attending Summer Session at ISU means students do not need to worry about transferability of credits upon completion of a course.
Summer Session offers three, four, six, and eight week courses that begin at six different dates throughout the summer. While the thought of earning full credit for a course after just three weeks can be rather enticing, Whitman said completing a full course in three weeks’ time takes serious dedication and commitment.
“[Students should] keep in mind the pace can be much faster [in Summer Session] than a regular semester course. In some cases, it’s the equivalent of doing a weeks’ worth of work every day,” Whitman said. “If a course runs for three weeks and you miss a class, you have less than 24 hours to get caught up,” she added.
Three-week Summer Session courses are nothing new for junior political science major, Nichelle Howard. Having gone through a Summer Session the summer of her freshman year, Howard knows first-hand just how challenging accelerated courses can be.
“One of my classes was a Spanish Part II class and it was extremely hard and demanding,” Howard said. “I’m glad I got it done with over the summer rather than during the school year where it would have been 18 weeks [of class] instead of three or four,” she added.
Attending school over the summer also makes for a particularly quiet and uneventful campus, but Howard said the lack of activity can be used to a student’s advantage.
“It really is a ghost-town, but it plays in your favor because you don’t have anything else to do, so why not just get your work done,” Howard said, “It’s like nothing can take your attention away from finishing a class, so you don’t really have any excuses not to.”
Whitman suggested that students who are considering Summer Session should try to avoid working full-time while enrolled so that they are able to keep up with the quick pace.
Even so, Gabrielle Thomas, junior mass media management promotions and sales major, managed to complete two Summer Session courses – one online and the other in class – while working part-time.
“It was hard when I had an 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. class and then I would have to work right after that for the next seven hours; my entire day would be gone,” Thomas said.
Despite the hefty time commitment with classes that typically run five days a week for two hours a day, Thomas and Howard said the classroom environment is usually more laid back with teachers who understand the sacrifices both they and their students are making for the sake of academic success.
“Teachers over the summer are just like us … they want to go on vacation as well,” Howard said. “They are typically a lot more laid back … they still require you to do the work, but [the attitude] is more ‘we’re all here so we might as well make the most of it.’”
Both Thomas and Howard will be attending Summer Session this summer and feel that the extra weeks and hours spent in the classroom are nothing compared to the feelings of academic accomplishment and freedom that come at the end of it all.
“[Through Summer Session] I know that if I sacrifice enough I will reap the benefits of it later … I work hard now so that I can be successful,” Howard said.