Give us classes for Christmas
Giving up winter break in order to get ahead on class credit may not be an oportunity many college students would jump at, but it may be a good idea.
On one hand, the opportunity to satisfy three credit hours within a few weeks is appealing. It speeds up the path to graduation and can free a student’s schedule in the spring.
But on the other hand, the crammed workload provides students with less time to absorb the material, and it jeopardizes the lasting benefits of the class, especially upper-level courses, which are normally more complicated and demanding than their core curriculum counterparts.
For this reason, the students who will benefit the most from taking mini sessions are freshmen.
Graduating on-time wouldn’t seem like a top priority for college freshmen, who have a lot to balance and adjust to during the first year at college, but early preparation is important. If freshmen have the time during the break, taking a winter course is a way of getting that much closer to graduation.
But in order for this to be effective, UH needs to target freshmen by offering more core courses.
This year’s session will have 30 courses, and about a third of those count toward the core curriculum. Considering the fact that the program is only in its third year that’s a relatively good amount of core options available, but the University should continue to expand that number so more students can take advantage of the opportunity.
Winter sessions are worth taking the time to perfect and are something from which both the University and students can benefit.
Despite how new the program is, winter sessions are being utilized by the student body.
According to Marshall Schott, associate vice president for University Outreach, enrollment has proven that students are interested.
“They are surprisingly popular. We started this a couple of years ago. It was really an academic experiment,” Schott said.
“I think the first time we did it we had maybe 400 to 500 enrollments, and I’m looking at the numbers right now; we’ll probably get close to 1200 students.”
The program will likely grow, and as it does, the University should adjust accordingly.
We have a remarkably low graduation rate — students are sticking around too long. Winter sessions are a great way to keep students on track.