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Feb. 01, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU's winter session doubles enrollment

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Learning is up at Slippery Rock University as students saw the opportunity to take online courses during the traditional winter break.

Eliott Baker, executive director of SRU's academic records and summer school, said SRU's second winter session, offered Dec. 19-Jan. 17, saw enrollment more than double that of the inaugural year - 2011. Nearly 55 courses were offered during the session.

"We had 946 enroll in 2012, up from 431 in our fist winter session year, 2011. Students participating in the December/January winter session took 2,812 academic credit hours of study, compared to 1,258 a year earlier. Most took three to six credits," he said.

The session saw 787 undergraduates (2,361 credits) taking courses and 159 (460 credits) graduate students. The program included a number of internships.

"Students clearly saw the advantage of getting a boost on their spring semester course schedule and realized they could use their time over break to expand their studies," he said.

SRU began its program in 2011 with 30 winter session courses. All winter session courses were offered through the University's Desire2Learn online system.

The new program also included a special graduate studies program in elementary education called "K-8 Education Math/Science" designed for those already working as teachers and those looking to increase their teaching skills.

"The winter session classes provided an opportunity for those with an undergraduate degree to work on their master's degree program while they were also off from their normal school work. The program is also tied to similar courses offered in SRU's summer school program," Baker said.

Students used the winter session, much like they do the summer session, to complete work toward graduation, or get a jump on the upcoming year's course load. Summer session offers both on-campus and online courses.

"We are pleased at the student acceptance and participation in winter session and will look to further expand course offerings next year," Baker said.

The current semester ends with commencement May 18 followed by the opening of summer sessions beginning May 22. Students who participate in the various summer school sessions could earn up to 18 credits in 11 weeks.

SRU's six summer sessions begin May 22.

"Like the winter session, our summer program is open to all students, including those from other universities interested in taking classes with credit transferred to their home institution. Summer sessions are a great opportunity for students returning to their family home for the summer, and jobs in the region, to still earn college credits. By taking summer classes the student can reduce their fall or spring semester course load, or with proper planning reduce their four-year program to three years," Baker said.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.