Mention summer school courses, and all lot of university students get defensive. After a full school year, why would anyone want to take summer school courses?
Actually there five reasons why you might consider it.
To Make Up For Past Sins
If there any courses that you have failed earlier in your college tenure, summer school is an excellent opportunity to retake the course, or at least replace the credits. Just as important, it’s a chance to retake failed courses without having to add an additional course to an already heavy schedule during the regular school year.
To Graduate EarlyBy taking one or two courses each summer, you might be able to knock out an entire semester of university. If you take at least two each summer, you might be able graduate a full year early.
Not only will that reduce the amount of time it will take you to complete your degree, but it will also likely cut down on the cost of your education overall.
Of course, there will be a cost to taking those courses during the summer, but you can often take them at local schools in your area and at a greatly reduced price. Most universities will accept those courses for full credit upon transfer.
To Lighten Your Coursework During The Regular School Year
You may be finding it difficult to juggle five or six courses each semester. That can create an academic pressure cooker, and can leave you little time to have a decent social life. By taking some courses during the summer months, you may only need to take four courses per semester during the regular school year.
Still another benefit to this method of reducing your regular course load, is that it can leave you with enough time during the regular school year that you can work in a part-time job that will help to pay some of your university related expenses. That may not help much as far as paying for big expenses like tuition and room and board, but it will give you spending money as well as cash for extras, like books and small fees. This will reduce the burden on your family, and also your dependence upon student loans.
Related: Should You Take a Full Course Load?
To Get Help Where You’re Weak
Summer school is also an opportunity to take courses where you feel you’re weak. This can be particularly important when it concerns your major area of study. There may be one or more courses, or even concepts within those courses, that you’re having difficulty mastering. Taking a summer course may be a way of getting extra help and reinforcing what you didn’t quite master during regular school year.
That leads us right into the next benefit of summer school courses…
To Learn In A More Relaxed Atmosphere
As a rule, the atmosphere in summer school courses is a good bit more relaxed than what it is for the same courses during the regular school year. For one thing, the courses are generally taught by adjuncts, rather than a regular professor. That adjunct might just have a softer approach to the course than a professor will during the regular school year.
There’s also the fact that it’s summer. There’s something in the human psyche that causes us to relax during the summer months, in a way that we seem incapable of during the rest of the year. Not only will the instructor be relaxed, but so will the other students. That casual attitude creates a much less formal environment that is often more conducive to learning.
This can be a real benefit if you had a professor for the same course during the regular school year who you couldn’t get along with, and had difficulty learning from. That can be a real situation in university life. Some professors are really not that good at teaching, or you simply can’t connect with them. Unfortunately, depending on your major area of study, there may be no alternative to taking a specific course with such a professor. Taking a summer school course may provide you with the alternative that you need.
Have you ever taken a summer school course during your time at university?