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May 3, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Summer session offers interesting options

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Some students enrolling for Slippery Rock University’s summer session have picked the near-perfect way to spend time in class: They have enrolled in Simon Beeching’s biology class, which is being taught at the marine station at Wallops Island near the Chesapeake Bay.

“This is one of the most popular summer classes and always fills quickly,” said Eliott Baker, executive director of SRU’s Office of Academic Records and Summer School. He says the subject matter and the draw of spending time near the water appeal to students.

The biology course as well as sessions in science, math and international-related areas, are among the top draws this year, Baker said.

SRU is a member of the Marine Science Consortium that makes use of the marine station that offers both wet and dry laboratories and allows students to make use of sampling and oceanographic equipment as part of their coursework. “It’s an interesting biology course with practical applications – and it’s on the water, in summer. What’s not to like,” Baker said.

“This summer we are offering a variety of summer session programs both on campus and online,” Baker said. “And, we have changed the rules to allow professors to better adjust the actual course schedule.”

As an example, Baker said, “Mathematics faculty often felt it was difficult to teach a calculus class in only four weeks as part of what we call pre-session. We now allow the professor to schedule the class over up to eight weeks, giving faculty more time to cover the material and students more opportunities to use non-class time for study.”

“Our online summer session classes are also drawing increased student interest from SRU students as well as those from other colleges and universities who have found their credits easily transfer and our course offerings may fit very well within a student’s goals,” he said. “The on-campus summer courses are also drawing students who return to the region from other Pennsylvania schools or those who attended out-of-state universities and elect to use some of their summer time to take a college course.”

Baker said some students are also opting to take both an online course and a traditional on-campus course during the various summer sessions offered by SRU. Students may apply to take more summer courses than in the past, but must obtain permission from their dean. “We are monitoring this expansion closely to assure that the student is not overloading their summer learning.”

A large number of students enrolling in summer classes are doing so to get a jump on their freshman year, while other use the summer program to complete their SRU studies, including students who are completing required 12-week internships that are part of their academic program.

“We also have some 20 education majors completing their student teaching assignments at schools in North Carolina where year-round school is offered,” Baker said. “In most cases, this is the last step in the student’s matriculation, and they will graduate at the end of summer.”

SRU’s summer sessions include:

  • Pre-session, May 16-June 1, during which students can earn four credits in 12 days;

  • Session I, June 4-29, during which students can earn up to seven credits in weeks;

  • Session II, July 2 -30, during which students can earn up to seven credits in four weeks;

  • Summer Term, June 4-July 30, during which students can earn seven credits in eight weeks; and

  • Full summer, May 16-July 30, during which students can earn 18 credits in 11 to 15 weeks.

Students can sign up for courses up to two days after the start of the selected summer session.

“We have really made the summer schedule much more flexible. Another positive benefit is that students can take advantage of current tuition costs” Baker said.

The variety of summer sessions also can help students make up any deficiencies related to maintaining requirements related to student aid regulations. “Some students take summer sessions to help improve their grade point average or to lighten their course load during the remainder of the year,” Baker said.

“There are also some students who enroll in summer school as a way of graduating earlier and possibly reducing their overall education costs,” he said.

SRU offers more than 200 undergraduate courses and 60 graduate courses as part of its summer program. For a list of open courses, visit:

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.