Summer classes offer Bucks students a chance to get ahead in coursework

Summer classes offer Bucks students a chance to get ahead in coursework

Bucks County Community College Newtown Campus

Centurion Staff

For many students, the idea of taking classes in the summer is not a particularly pleasing idea as the time of year is traditionally seen as a time to take a break from the rigors of education. But for those students who want to be the exception, Bucks has a tradition of offering options for current students as well as students from other colleges.
Two years ago Bucks went from four day a week courses to longer two day a week courses to cut costs, and summer course availability and enrollment has increased in those past two years, particularly for online students. Travel distance and rising transportation costs seem to be the biggest reasons for this.
Courses involving math (and especially statistics) are the summer courses that tend to increase the most, and Bucks Director of Registration Robert Maley says it has to do with student confidence.
“Students seem to think that they will have problems with math courses if they take it with other courses in the spring and fall semester, so they like to take them in the summer as a lone course,” Maley said.
The summer semester is split into two bi-semesters lasting six weeks each, and each course is taught in the same amount of time that it would be if it were being taught during the spring or fall. But those students who feel that the six week period would be too much of a crunch; they do have options with some 12 week courses that overlap both bi-semesters. Crunching the material can be a problem for some students though.
“While there isn’t anything particularly remarkable about how good or bad the grades are in the summer relative to the spring and fall, it isn’t uncommon to see some students try to crunch their work in six week courses and suffer because of it,” said Maley. “Therefore, I encourage students to think hard about crunching college work in a six week time span.”
However, some students seem to think that there is actually less work in summer courses even though the total time in the classroom is the same as in the fall or spring.
“I took summer courses before and I loved them,” said Bucks student Amy Griffith. “The professors are more lenient in the summer classes and there is less work to do.”
There are many courses that require a prerequisite course, and the summer is a great time to take prerequisite courses. But it should be noted that if there isn’t enough student demand for a summer course then the course will ultimately not be offered. Demand for this upcoming summer semester seemed to be lower than average, but just this past week there was an unexpected spike in student enrollment.
Summer courses offer the chance to get college credits and check of courses on the student degree audit, and some students even see the summer as the opportunity for a second chance.
“I dropped a course that I had to take and felt like I would regret it,” said Bucks student Jonathan Mutchiga. “But after seeing that the course would be offered in the upcoming summer semester, I will consider playing carpe diem and take advantage of the opportunity.”