In mid-April, many students begin the countdown to Summer break, with often only six weeks of classes left if they’re already in college, or less than two months left in the high school year. The big push for term papers, the crush of catch up homework, and the promise of a nice long Summer breather all come to play in Spring.
Increasingly, students are choosing to swap that Summer breather out for another wonderful academic pursuit: The Summer Session or Summer ‘Semester’. The Summer session course offerings and registrations are just opening up in April, with priority registration and open registration deadlines usually ending in the third week of April, so there may a smaller window of opportunity to take advantage of Summer session. Classes often start in the first week of May.
| Columbia College Summer Registration Dates:
| Semester begins: May 2nd, 2016.
| Priority registration: April 11 – April 19, 2016.
| Open registration: April 20, 2016.
| Click here for Columbia College Catalog, Calendar, and Class Schedules [ http://www.gocolumbia.edu/catalog_schedules ]
There are a number of benefits for the students taking Summer sessions, especially where community college is concerned. Aside from considerably easier parking, here a few of the top benefits of attending community college Summer session:
Accelerated Learning – far from rushing through a cursory skim of subject matter, accelerated learning affords students a deeper dive into the subject matter delivered over a shorter calendar duration because they’re immersed in the material for longer class periods and/or more class sessions per week. This is often accompanied by robust additional learning resources and material external to the actual class via online class communities lead by the instructors and subject matter specific material offered by industry for those seeking a vocational certification.
Less Costly – Summer sessions are shorter and can be considerably less expensive, depending on the load, and the location. Don’t mistake price for value, however; Summer sessions pack a lot of bang for the buck.
More Elbow Room – Although it’s getting more competitive and challenging to find everything a student may want in a Summer academic session, courses offered in this seasonal session are often not impacted – or *as* impacted, in some cases – than the traditional full semester classes.
Better Housing Opportunities – Especially for competitive on-campus or near campus housing, getting a jump on things in a Summer session may also mean advance access to college housing. California Student Housing is right on the campus of Columbia College, affording the added benefit of zero-cost commute to class (other than the time it takes to walk from the apartments to the classroom), alongside it’s many other amenities. Click here for the housing application.
Tips For Getting The Most Out of Summer Academic Sessions
As always, students should carefully consider overall college life planning, taking into account college credit, additional expenses, recreation, study partnerships, and time management. Here are a few reminder tips:
Academic Credit and Transferability – if they’re taking Summer session to accelerate transfer to a four year or to gain cretification/accreditation sooner; ensure that the courses selected have maximum applicability and transferability. Click here to search Columbia College Summer Session courses [ https://apps.gocolumbia.edu/ClassSearch/ ]
Total Costs – Housing arrangements and living expenses are an essential aspect of any college life planning. Take into account distance from campus, costs of commuting, room and board, amenities, and utilities. Simply reducing or eliminating commuting costs by selecting on-campus housing is great for the budget. On-campus housing at community college for the Summer session is also great because once you’re in, you’re in; no need to repeat the entire application process and any related fees, simply choose your payment terms and renew for Fall.
All Work and No Play – Downtime is essential for success. Entertainment and exercise are key for helping keep students on top of their game. Again, choosing the right housing can have a major impact on this. California Student Housing, for instance, has in-house amenities such as wifi internet access included for easy access to online forms of entertainment, and also has other forms of R&R such as billiards and volleyball. Besides being on campus within easy walking distance of the gym, the beautiful Sonora countryside offers ample opportunity for hiking and biking. Click here for more about the California Student Housing experience.
Iron Sharpens Iron – Students sharing the Summer session experience can form highly focused study groups to help each other succeed. The added constraint of more coursework over few actual calendar days means it takes that much more motivation and intensity of focus to finish strong. Students may wish to choose a smaller number of study partners and opt for those with the similar external time constraints.
Run The Clock, Don’t Let It Run You – Time management is even more important with accelerated learning, so students shouldn’t let an over emphasis on perfection lead to procrastination. Learning how to run the clock means that the clock won’t run them over, leaving them with time running out. A special Summer session academic planner combined with setting up a set of special timers on smartphones and/or repeating reminders in Google’s Gmail or (Yahoo! calendar, or whichever email and task management system they use). They shouldn’t get bogged down in these tools and ensure that whatever task and time management resource they choose doesn’t introduce a level of complexity and duplication of effort. These things should be easy to set up and use and synchronize between devices, providing a seamless and low-friction experience across desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Wunderlist and Trello are two increasingly popular task management tools that achieve this level of integration and synchronicity, combined with very easy usability.
Early Bird Wins The Day
Accessing the added benefits and increased opportunity offered by Summer academic session means students need to act fairly quickly, getting a handle on the course offerings, locations, durations, and overall living expenses to make the most of the experience.