Summer session offers flexible course loads


Students walk between classes Nov. 2 on the Glenn Terrell Friendship Mall.

RIDGE PETERSON, Evergreen columnist

As the summer kicks into gear, students often wonder if they should take classes during summer session. For those who are in town or have access to the WSU Global Campus, summer provides an excellent opportunity to get ahead.

The WSU summer session is a great way for students to get classes out of the way in a flexible, relaxed manner, a system that may work better for some Cougs than traditional semester classes.

With the many sessions offered, students do not have to stay in Pullman all summer if they want to leave on vacation. There are four-week, six-week, eight-week and 12-week sessions that offer different courses in each to take multiple classes or spread out the work load.

“Summer is all about variety and doing it ‘your way,’ ” wrote Angela Lenssen, WSU Summer Session marketing and promotions coordinator. “The flexibility and assorted options help you customize your education to help you get ahead on your coursework.”

In addition to on-campus classes in Pullman, students also have the option of taking online classes. Lenssen said many students take a “hybrid” of traditional and online courses.

The availability of online Global Campus classes means those who aren’t able to spend this time in Pullman still have the option of studying during the summer.

On top of the increased flexibility, summer courses offer smaller class sizes and instructors can give individual students more attention. Students are also less likely to end up on the waitlist for a class they need to take.

Because most classes are every day, students can focus and make progress more quickly with courses they may find difficult. Some three-credit courses that would ordinarily take a semester can be done during the summer in a few weeks, Lenssen said.

“Summer is a great time to take a class or two to ease the burden of our fall/spring load,” wrote Benjamin Perkins, director of Extended Academic Sessions. “It’s a great time to get prerequisites done so you are set to stay on schedule academically.”

Taking just one or two classes also allows students to work or gain other experience while enrolled.

There are also academic and financial advantages to taking summer classes instead of traditional spring or fall courses. For one, all students will pay in-state tuition for summer session, meaning that out-of-state Cougs can save money by taking classes during the summer.

Most campus resources, such as University Recreation and the Chinook Student Center, are available to students during the summer, and students will enjoy less crowding at these locations because there are fewer people in town.

Students can enjoy the warm Palouse weather in the summer. Outdoor activities, such as recreation trips, concerts and other weekly events, help keep the summer interesting and exciting to students.

The variety, flexibility and convenience of summer classes make them a great option for WSU students both on campus and online. Students should take this chance to get ahead and use a valuable university resource.