Exploring the benefits of summer classes

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Most Azusa Pacific students might be intrigued by an earlier graduation date, lower tuition, easier parking, affordable housing, a lighter course load and five-week commitment. These are the six “top reasons to attend summer school,” according to an email One Stop sent to students Monday, March 17. For students considering summer classes, there is a lot to think about.

According to Angie Di Claudio, director of Integrated Enrollment Services, APU’s Summer 2014 session offers 186 different class choices. Multiple sections are offered for these classes, allowing students to choose from a total of 306 classes to fit their specific needs.

Di Claudio said students might be most interested in the lowered tuition cost of $524 per unit. During the school year, full-time students, who take anywhere from 12 to 18 units, must pay a tuition cost of $15,708. This means tuition costs, at the very least, $872 per unit during the fall and spring semesters.

According to the APU website, however, APU scholarships are not available during the summer. For some students, this might be an important aspect to consider.

“[Summer school] is also a great opportunity for students to get on track, stay on track or progress more quickly to graduation,” Di Claudio said.

Class subjects range from general education to major-specific courses, offering beginning classes such as Freshman Writing as well as upper-division courses, such as Senior Seminar options.

Summer school enrollment includes different schedule commitment options, as well. Students can take one of the three intensive five-week terms or a traditional 15-week term. A 12-week nursing term option is offered for nursing majors only.

Senior communication studies major Joseph Parker took a required class, Persuasion and Attitude Change, with communication studies professor Ryan Montague during the May 2013 term.

“Summer classes are great because you can get them out of the way in a month’s time,” Parker said. “If you are looking for a quick route to graduation, summer courses are the way to go.”

APU also offers on-campus housing for students during the summer, reducing the price 50 percent for a total of $1,117.50 for those who stay all 15 weeks. Students might apply for the Summer Housing Program, if they wish to stay for more than five weeks. If students need to stay for five weeks or less, they should apply for the Summer I option.

“All summer course offerings emulate the courses offered during regular-term sessions, just in a shorter, more concentrated time frame,” Di Claudio said.

If a student takes a course at APU during the summer, he or she will avoid needing to transfer the credits from a community college, she explained. However, Di Claudio confirmed that One Stop can also help students transfer credits if need be.

Junior liberal studies major Carly Bierman is currently in South Africa with the APU Study Abroad program. According to Bierman, she was worried the trip might put her behind schedule because she changed majors during her junior year. She plans to take summer courses in order to graduate on time.

Art and design professor David Carlson has taught a summer school course for the past three years. His course is unique, however, as it culminates in a two-week study abroad trip every summer.

This experience has provided the unique opportunity to experience firsthand the content of the courses I teach,” Carlson said. “Myself along with professor Kent Anderson Butler and G. James Daichendt have taken students out into the world to experience art, culture and history face-to-face.”

Students can find out more about taking classes at APU during summer 2014 at http://www.apu.edu/registrar/undergraduate/schedule/summer.

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