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 Tuesday, July 10, 2007 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Student Perspective - Maymester: more work than play?
by Steven Bryner, senior, English

The weather changes, shorts and tank tops come out and the students are done with classes for the summer. At least some of the students are finished; others are back in the classroom only this time, according to Jessica Hutchinson, a junior majoring in anthropology, "it's a little more intense."

For example, Maymester classes run five days a week, three hours a day for the term and allow very little room for missing class. This is quite a change for some students from the relaxed schedule of the regular school year.  

Attendance seems to be a bit stricter during the summer sessions. This is due to the workload that applies to the summer sessions. "A week's worth of work from the regular semester goes into each day of a summer session," said Carol Drake, director of summer session.

Kasie Simpson, a senior majoring in integrated physiology said, "The summer's better because there's only one or two classes to concentrate on. With five or six classes being drawn out over a three or four month period, I tend to lose focus during the regular year."

Most students leave after the regular school year to work a summer job or go back home to visit their families and friends. During the academic year, enrollment numbers decrease from fall semester to spring semester by about 2,000 students, according to Registrar Barbara Todd. This is a small number when compared to 7,300 total students enrolled in the summer sessions.  

"We receive a lot of feedback from students through FCQs and surveys of each session," said Drake. "For example, Maymester feedback focused on students loving the smaller classes, and the very personal environment in which to work."

However, the responses indicate not all students think summer class is "a walk in the park." The most frequent comment was that it is hard to keep up when a week's worth of work is crammed into a day. On the other hand, the professors appear more refreshed during summer sessions and that helps the students pull through.

In the past, we students have had the summers off, yet Maymester enrollment numbers have remained steady over the past few years. Year-round schooling is also beginning to take on a new face these days in public schools. Elementary, middle and high schools across the country are now noticing positive changes in students and benefits associated with year-round schooling. Are traditions on the verge of changing? Will higher education students embrace a more rigorous year-round program?

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