Sunscreen, towel, textbooks?

By Web Master

By David Sanders

Contributing Reporter

Toward the climax of the winter semester, the minds of many are focused on entering the doors of spring and summer classes rather than being welcomed by the start of another outdoor summer vacation. It is a route that is common among a number of students. Still, what really pushes a student to enroll for spring and summer courses?

One of the most popular answers given by students is that they take summer courses in the hopes of reaching the glory of graduation as soon as they can. It should not be much of a surprise that seniors hoping to graduate soon are the largest group of students that are dedicating their summer to taking classes according to official enrollment files.

The file records show that from 2003 to 2007, seniors consistently have the highest rate for enrolling in spring and summer classes followed by juniors, then sophomores, with guest students and freshmen rounding out the list. The files also indicate that enrollment as of the first day of classes for the combined summer semester this year is 12,008, which is about even to last year’s total of 11,998.

Corey Schmidt is a 20-year-old junior looking to graduate on time.

“The main reason why I decided to take summer classes is to graduate exactly in four years,” Schmidt said.

Carmen Etienne, the academic advisor for the school of engineering and computer science and the chair of the Professional Advisors Council said that the main motivation for students who take summer classes is to help them stay on course for graduation.

“If students feel they are behind in credits, taking a summer class could be an option,” Etienne said.

Yet, the faster pace of the courses may not be the best option according to Etienne.

“I believe summer classes are not for everyone,” said Etienne. “Some like the speed, so they should take it. It may be too fast for some and some may need a break.”

Lorin Wright a college of arts and science advisor, suggests a way for students to handle the faster pace of the summer courses.

“I advise some not to [take summer courses] because of the fast pace,” said Wright. “But they could concentrate on one course.”

Along with graduation, many students are remaining in classes during the summer to meet course requirements.

Shawn Kilpatrick is a junior english major juggling his American literature class while having a job stamping books and handling government documents at the Kresge Library.  

“I have to take summer classes it’s a requirement for my job at the Library,” Kilpatrick said.

Meeting pre-requisite requirements is on the minds of summer students as well.

Sophomore Hamlin resident Christina Droscha is currently taking calculus I to meet pre-requisite goals for her future career in environmental science.

“Taking summer classes gives me a chance to be on campus when it’s not snowing,” Droscha said. “Because I live on campus, I can take summer classes.”

Schmidt resides in the same dormitory as Droscha and both are taking advantage of studying in the summer to remain occupied due to its location on campus.

“Summer classes help me stay on track,” Schmidit said. “I have a job where I live on campus where it’s convenient enough for me to take summer course.”

Sophomore Daniel Taubman is not only taking classes for a pre-requisite, but also to keep busy during the leisure summer.

“Having summer courses gives me something to do during the summer,” Taubman said.