Donovan Wilson – Reporter
Summer classes were offered during the summer of 2020 but had to be almost entirely online due to the high cases of COVID –19 at the time. Now that the whole country begins to loosen up, so do the options for the summer classes of 2021.
“Summer registration just opened this week so we don’t yet know how much demand there will be for summer courses,” said Julie Edstrom, assistant vice president of enrollment management.
It is still hard to gauge student engagement with summer classes this year, however, the volume of classes and options available for classes are higher than it was last year.
Now, in the upcoming summer of 2021, only 433 of the now 643 classes offered are entirely online, while 210 of the classes have some sort of in-person element.
“In summer 2020, enrollment for summer was higher than usual,” said Edstrom.
An offering this year, very different to last year’s, is a wide variety of hybrid classes. Hybrid classes have some elements that are entirely online and other elements offered in person. 96 of the of classes offered this summer are hybrid as opposed to 0 last semester.
“We’re not 100 percent sure if it’s being offered only in Schwartz, but we want students with kitchens and air conditioning,” said Robert DeMezzo, director of residence life.
In the summer of 2020, on-campus housing was not offered due to the lack of on-ground classes, a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the phase of reopening the state was in. This summer, on-campus housing will be offered to any student going to class or working on campus, basically anybody involved in the academic program. According to DeMezzo, on-campus housing will reside mostly in Schwartz Hall as this is where the staff stays and the rooms come with kitchens. Kitchens will be available to students because dining is usually not offered during the summer semester.
DeMezzo said, “We were waiting to see how many classes are on-ground, but they’ll be offered to fully online students as well”.
Schwartz is being considered partially due to the fact that having staff and students in one building saves energy costs by quite a lot. This aids well to the costs but there might need to be an extension to separate buildings as we see how many people enroll because fully online students will also be offered on-campus housing, according to DeMezzo. One of the major focuses, in addition to kitchens, is air conditioning as it will be the summer.
The process of what classes end up getting picked to be in the summer program is based on the courses needed the most by students. The professors will send a request of those courses to the chairman of their department and then it will be passed to the deans of their specific college. From there, the schedules are put together to represent offerings for all the students who need summer classes to meet their requirements in a timely manner.
“It’s actually rather straight-forward. Faculty members submit requests to their Department Chairpersons to teach courses that are popular or badly needed by students,” said Bruce Kalk, Dean of the college of arts & sciences.