Summer session a chance to make up courses

Anastazia Loza

With six weeks left, the end of Pierce College’s spring semester is rushing up on students, bringing the relaxation of class-free, glowing sunshine days for a week before they can continue on in their pursuit for education during the two summer sessions.

As usual, summer classes will be broken up into two sessions of five weeks each. Session A runs June 11 through July 14 and Session B will start up July 16 and end Aug. 18, with a two-week break before the fall semester starts up.

“The reason we follow that kind of pattern,” explained Charlotte Doctor, the dean of Academic Affairs, “is that a couple of years ago we checked with the ASO about student preference and they said students would rather have a long break before fall begins, then to have the two sessions separated or to have a break before they start.”

Ruben Daliva, an 18-year-old second semester Pierce student, said he agreed that this was a good setup to take considering that summer classes are taught as crash courses, with a whole semester worth of information crammed up into just five weeks.

Daliva just took one class over the 2007 winter session and said he still got overworked.

“It was for five hours from 5 to 10 p.m. I was always real tired and my sleep schedule got kind of messed up.”

He said that after a while, he got used to it, but being given the one weekend before the long spring semester started was “disheartening.” Having two weeks in between the end of Session B and the fall semester will be a great reward after working hard for five or 10 straight weeks.

Many students register for the summer classes in hopes of graduating faster or taking the classes that are usually harder to get into during the fall and spring semesters. A grand total of 12 units combined from both sessions can be earned, making the two summer sessions equal to almost a full semester.

Doctor said that Pierce is mandated by the state to have a certain number of basic skills courses offered during these sessions for students who need to improve their skills. Class enrollment is reviewed from the previous three years to find which classes students have the hardest time getting into over the regular year.

When Daliva was asked if he was planning on taking one or both sessions, he responded, “I’m planning to take a couple classes if time permits it. I might have to work this summer, to save up money.”

Since April 10 the schedules for both summer sessions have been online giving everyone the opportunity to access them for at least 20 days before the registration for summer classes opens Monday. Continuing Pierce students will also receive their own copy of the schedule in the mail, scheduled to arrive last week and this week.

Yet, there is an added bonus for any student planning on spending many of their hot summer days on campus. Started just a couple of years ago, Pierce offers free parking to all students for both summer sessions.

“It will save students money,” encouraged Doctor. “So it’s a very economical thing to think about if you can get a semester’s worth of work out of the way and not have to pay parking fees. Students who are watching their pennies really like that.”

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