Compressed courses offer students head start on semester
Not everyone has time in their standard semester to take the full 12 or more credits needed to stay on track for a four year degree. To help with this, the university offers WinterMester classes from January 3 -12, and MayMester classes from May 7 – May 18.
These courses help many students by allowing them to create a manageable workload for themselves and still leave time for other responsibilities in their life.
“The credits count for your spring semester so you can get three credits done before spring semester and free up your schedule to work more if you need to, or to have more free time if you’d like to,” said Paige Gieck, a nursing student.
These 3-credit courses are offered a normal course within a substantially reduced timeframe, with all credits received being applied to the student’s degree audit during spring semester. in the case of WinterMester classes, and their summer semester in the case of MayMester classes.
In addition, the compressed timeframe of the WinterMester and MayMester format can benefit certain classes.
“I took ethics with Eduardo Wilner over WinterMester because I just wanted to get ethics out of the way. But it turned out to be one of the funnest classes I’ve ever taken,” said Patrick Knavel, an ecology and evolution student. “I really liked the five hour day format, especially for ethics, because it let us have really, really long in-depth discussion about the topics, instead of just half hour, hour and a half, discussion that the normal semester classes have.”
In addition to ethics, WinterMester and MayMester offer a variety of other courses for any student that wants to take them.
“If you have a core course like Intro to Anthropology, or Sociology, or any of the other courses that we’re offering, and you have a core a course you need to take, you can get it out of the way before the spring semester even officially begins,” said Michelle Bartlett, the director of summer sessions.
Although these courses offer a lot of benefits to students, not every class offered by the university are able to work in a compressed format, and so aren’t offered for WinterMester or MayMester.
“The decision making process is really left up to the department, but one of the situations is that all courses that are offered, whether it’s MayMester or WinterMester, have to be approved for being able to offer it in such a compressed format,” said Bartlett. “Any course that is approved for credits at the university goes through a curriculum committee at the college level.”
“But this means courses which have already been approved to be offered in a 14-week basis, or in the summertime with a 6-week basis,” Bartlett continued. “They’re reduced even further have to be approved by the faculty senate to be offered in that fashion. So, it goes through quite an extensive approval process.”
With the more intense workload involved in these courses in order to learn everything in a smaller timeframe, all students taking WinterMester courses must be in good academic standing. In addition, any students taking a 100 or 200 level WinterMester or MayMester course must have a 2.5 GPA or higher.