Winter Session sees 15.6 percent increase from last year


Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter

According to a recent post on her blog, President Mary Papazian stated that the overall head count for participants in Southern’s Winter Session program is up 15.6 percent from last season.

The President attributed the success to the university’s marketing team, which utilized social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, as well as external marketing including billboards, printed advertisements and digital advertisements.

This year, the university will offer students 49 online courses in a myriad of subjects and credit amounts. The classes allow students to gain 3-4 credits in a matter of weeks rather than months, as they would during a conventional semester.

But as convenient as winter classes might sound, they do not work for every single student. They are harder because of their circumstances.

Megan Mancinelli, a senior and veteran to the Winter Session program thinks that the helpfulness of winter courses depends entirely on the student.

“I think it depends,” said Mancinelli. “They’re not cheap but they’re a great way to take a basic course you need or just extra credits towards graduation.”

Mancinelli took two winter course last season to stay ahead in her program.

“Then again,” she said, “depending on the course they’re easy to mess up and screw your GPA if you do not keep a very concrete schedule about it. You have to be dedicated to it and it does kind of mess up your holiday a bit.”

Winter classes fall right in the middle of various holidays, and obviously winter break, so students who use winter break as a time to recharge between semesters might have to think twice about taking winter classes. Winter classes are intensive and may damper a student’s holiday spirit.

“Yes,” Mancinelli said, “I would recommend winter courses but only if you have the time, dedication and finances for it.”

Winter session is not covered by the student’s financial aid package, that they are awarded at the beginning of the year. According to the Tuitions and Fees page on Southern’s web page, for every three credit course, the student will have to pay $1,500, and for every four credit course, the student will have to pay over $2,000.

To take two winter session courses would run the student $3,000 or more. Not everyone has the finances to participate. The price of these courses increases for the graduate level courses as well as the specialized courses, like nursing and education.

Mancinelli said, “Make sure you keep a strict schedule for your class or classes. Otherwise you will fall behind, without a doubt.”

Winter session courses are significantly more challenging because they attempt to compact the work of an entire four month long semester in to a matter of weeks. Students need to be able to dedicate themselves to their course work every single day, said Mancinelli. She believes that winter courses are extremely difficult, but they are still worth it because they help students stay on track or even get ahead.

Photo Credit: Staff Photo 

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