While school’s out for the summer for some AU students, others choose to take summer classes to finish their degrees on time or to have something to do while working in the city.
There are currently 3,529 students enrolled for the summer. Linda Bolden-Pitcher, university registrar, said in an e-mail that she expects enrollment to increase in the next few weeks with the beginning of the next summer session on July 3.
More graduate students are taking courses this summer than undergraduates. Classes tend to be smaller during the summer, Bolden-Pitcher said.
Avigail Eisenberg, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she is taking two classes during each session in order to graduate on time because she transferred.
Summer classes are more intensive than those during the regular academic year, Eisenberg said.
“But I prefer [summer classes] better because you focus on only one or two classes, so it evens itself out,” she said.
Amanda Purcell, a junior in CAS, said she is taking one class during each session because she wanted to have something else to do outside of her job.
Summer classes are longer than typical block classes so a semester of work is completed in the allotted time. The first three-week session ran from May 22 to June 9; the second three-week session, the seven-week session and the first six-week session run until June 29; and the second six-week session runs from July 3 to August 10, according to Bolden-Pitcher.
“The work is definitely more just because you’re compacting an entire semester into six weeks,” Purcell said.
Tuition is the same per credit hour for summer, fall and spring classes, Bolden-Pitcher said. However, there is no full-time flat rate during the summer.
Students have a variety of course styles to choose from that are not always offered during the regular academic year, Bolden-Pitcher said.
“A different mix of courses are offered during the summer sessions: more institute courses, Distance Learning courses, and a host of special programs,” she said.
Distance Learning courses are taught entirely online. Josh Williams, a second-year graduate student in the School of Communication, is currently taking Computer Assisted Reporting online as a requirement for the Interactive Journalism weekend master’s program.
Williams said he likes that he can complete coursework any time of the day and plan the class around his own schedule.
“It’s nice to be able to get our weekends back,” he said.
His professor, Larry Gillick, posts the syllabus and weekly classwork on Blackboard. Students also discuss their methods used to complete the work on Blackboard discussion boards.
Gillick, assistant professor of communication, said Distance Learning “forces students to learn” because it is obvious when a student is not interacting in an online classroom setting but not as clear when a student just has to sit through a lecture.
However, not seeing students while they are learning the material makes it difficult for professors to gauge how much they understand, Gillick said.
“I miss seeing the confused look,” he said.
Online learning can also be disadvantageous because it is hard to have a real-time discussion about the work when students are working at different times, Williams said.
“All things being equal, I’d rather go to class,” but taking a Distance Learning class is a worthwhile experiment, he said.