East Tennessee State University students are signing up by the hundreds for the school’s first winter session.
“Our target was 1,000” students, said Sarah Bradford, director of summer school programs at ETSU. “I think we’re certainly going to hit our projection of 1,000 students.”
The winter session, scheduled for Dec. 20-Jan. 27, has been in development for a few years. The session is intended to provide extra opportunities to take classes to graduate on time or early and to provide extra revenue for ETSU.
Originally, Bradford planned to have between 40 and 50 course offerings. Enthusiasm among faculty and administrators, including President Paul E. Stanton Jr., for the new session increased the offerings to 70 courses from five of the school’s colleges.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers the most courses, including those in criminal justice, political science, chemistry, English, history and math. The colleges of education, clinical and rehabilitative health sciences, continuing studies and academic outreach and business and technology also will offer courses.
“It’s really a big spread” of classes, Bradford said.
All the classes are totally online.
The school is closed is Dec. 26–30. Bradford said students will have access, online, to services from the registrar, tutoring, the library and technical assistance during that week.
Faculty will receive compensation for teaching during the winter session. The school will make money, though. Eventually, ETSU hopes to generate about $1 million from the session.
Caryn Cash is an ETSU senior majoring in general studies. She plans to enroll in the master’s degree in occupational therapy following graduation.
Cash delayed college to serve as a medic in the Army for 6½ years, so she was eager to finish her degree to move on to graduate school.
“So the winter term prevents me from having to take 18 to 20 hours each semester,” Cash said. “And it won’t put so much pressure on me my final semester.”
Cash had been taking 16 hours of class each semester. A full-time load for an undergraduate student is considered to be 12 hours of classes.
“I just think it’s a great idea that ETSU did and I was like, ‘I’m taking advantage of it,’ ” Cash said of the winter session.
Chris Holmes also is a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, with an emphasis in marketing and management.
Holmes said the winter session will allow him to graduate in May rather than December 2012, which was his original plan.
“It’s amazing, because that means I’ll be able to enter the work force almost seven months earlier than I was supposed to,” he said. “There’s not that many words to tell you how wonderful it is to get done with school,” Holmes said.
The session will last a few weeks into the spring 2012 semester. It overlaps on purpose in part to give students the option of using their spring financial aid toward the winter term.