Ashlyn Curley – 1851 Staff
After years of students having to take summer courses elsewhere and transfer credits back in the fall, Lasell started offering its own summer program last year with Dean Steven Bloom and Dean Joan Dolamore overseeing the program.
The summer program is split into two sessions, both of which are based online on Moodle. Session I runs from May 20 to July 7, and Session II runs from July 8 to August 25. About 120 students are already registered for this summer’s program, which is an increase from last year’s participation of 91 students, and more are expected to enroll in the next few weeks.
“We’re hoping to at least double from last year,” said Registrar Dianne Polizzi, who is in charge of registration for all students, including summer registration. Polizzi also mentioned registration is still open until the session starts, even though online registration will close.
Research was done to see what courses students were taking online elsewhere. These courses included internships, math, and history. “So [this year] the number of courses was increased to include some of the areas of inquiry,” said Polizzi. “We added more math, more psych, more science, and of course, internships.”
Benefits of taking summer courses include possible early graduation, making up credits students are behind on, and retaking required courses students may have failed. Summer courses cost $400 for each credit, which is cheaper than regular sessions. “Some students may be concerned about getting done faster… and think it’s worth the money to accelerate and graduate early,” said Bloom.
Taking a summer course has potential to improve a student’s GPA, whereas transferred credits do not affect a student’s GPA. Also, because courses are online, students can live anywhere and don’t have to drive to campus, which opens up opportunities for internships.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for interesting internships in the summer,” said Polizzi. “Students can take advantage of them, and it will lighten their load in the regular semester.”
The summer internship program will run through both summer sessions, so students will be able to intern for 14 weeks instead of seven.
There will be training sessions for students who have never taken online courses, as well as required intro sessions.
“[Students should] be aware that they shouldn’t think that because [courses] are online that they’re easier,” said Bloom. “Some courses may be harder because students aren’t used to online work.”
Although students may have trouble with online work, resources such as the Academic Achievement Center will still be available during the summer.
Unlike normal class sessions, which usually cap at 25 students, the online programs cap at 20 students. This may be a constraint to students who are looking to take a course that’s already filled, such as Environmental Science, which has already been closed. However, there’s already talk about sessions in the winter, which could involve classes or a service learning trip, according to Polizzi