Summer classes offer opportunities


Mary-Lynn Retassie

Sophomores Ashley Dean and Abby Bell studied Friday in the Owen Library.

Callie Burgan, Opinions Editor

For some students, summer may be a time for catching up on well-needed rest or having fun in the sun.

Others, however, take the opportunity to get ahead in their studies by completing credits through summer classes.

Freshman Ashley Eckenrode said that she plans on taking a summer math course.

“I think it will be easier to concentrate and do well in the class because I won’t be distracted by a bunch of other ones,” she said.

“I also have heard that the professors are willing to be more lenient.”

However, biology professor Stephen Kilpatrick said that, although summer classes are compressed into a shorter time period, the difficulty level remains the same as regular-school-year classes.

“Students may be doing better, not because the instructors are more lenient, but because they are able to focus on only one or two courses at a time,” Kilpatrick said.

“The classes are usually quite small.

“I typically don’t have more than about eight students in mine, though I know others are larger.” 

English instructor William Fine said that, while summer classes are not for the faint of heart, they are an excellent way to complete courses quickly to make up for lost time or to move more quickly toward degree acquisition.

“I encourage those who are interested to participate, because as more students enroll, more courses will become available.

“For students who want an especially individualized experience, summer is an excellent time to enroll,” Fine said.

Spanish and Latin American Literature professor Alvaro Bernal said that, usually, summer courses are more intensive due to the shorter time length.

“Unfortunately, at least in foreign language courses, we do not have a lot of demand for summer classes, and they are usually canceled because of poor enrollment.

“Learning a foreign language is a plus in any field, and I would highly recommend signing up for a language summer course,” Bernal said.

Enrollment for summer term classes began  Feb. 11, and classes start May 13.

According to the Pitt-Johnstown website, all students will be required to meet with their academic advisers prior to enrolling for their summer term classes, just as they would be if they were enrolling in courses for the fall semester.