By IZZA JATALA
Now that spring break is over, the countdown to summer begins. It’s also time decide if part of summer should be spent in a classroom. Enrolling for summer semester has its advantages for students willing to sacrifice a homework-free and lecture-free summer break.
Some students may have already decided, while others may be still weighing their options. Do I want to enjoy some time off, or do I want to graduate sooner? Either way, it’s a decision that deserves consideration as it will affect time, money and progression.
*Unique learning opportunities
“The intensive learning and the nice weather can combine to make a wonderful experience,” said Joshua Wells, IUSB alumni and assistant professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at IUSB, via e-mail. Wells helped lead the 2012 summer program for anthropology field work.
“There are terrific study abroad courses that are offered during the summer,” said Alycia Gondocs, an English major who had the opportunity to spend a summer semester in Oaxaca, Mexico. “You can earn credits toward your degree while traveling around the world and having a great time.”
Students can also graduate a semester (or even a year) sooner if they take summer classes in addition to fall and spring semesters.
“Without taking classes last summer there was absolutely no way that I would have been able to graduate on time,” said mass communication major Alyssa Mathieu in a Facebook message. During the summer she was able to take four classes—a full-time semesters worth of credit hours.
Last summer IUSB began offering a 25 percent discount on tuition for summer session courses. While 2012-13 fall and spring courses cost $204.61 per credit hour, summer 2013 courses will cost just $153.46 per credit hour.
If a resident undergraduate student takes 12 credits total for summer session I and II instead of in the fall or spring, they would save over $600.
*Less scheduling options
Without a flexible work schedule, it may be hard for students to find a class they can attend. Some students work 8-5 Monday through Friday. The course offerings for summer listed online through IUSB’s Onestart show that there aren’t many evening classes available.
*Longer class sessions
Students must cover 16 weeks of material in 6 or 8 weeks. Many summer courses listed on Onestart are shown to be held for either 3 hours a day for 2 days out of the week, 2 and a half hours a day for 3 days out of the week, or 2 and a half hours a day for 4 days out of the week.
*Less free time
It can be intense to have more class time and homework, along with tests, papers and project due more frequently. This can interfere with daily summer activity or travel plans.
“A lot of the disadvantages are a matter of preferences and there are always exceptions,” said Mathieu. She said she doesn’t mind the disadvantages because summer sessions are only six weeks long.
Still not sure if taking summer classes is the right move? Make an appointment with your advisor to talk more about your options.
To learn more about the upcoming 2013 summer semester at IUSB click here https://www.iusb.edu/registrar/calendars/summer13.php.