University officials to make summer classes more appealing to students

Stacy Rhea

The fastest route to graduation could be summer school, but many students can’t do it because classes are sparse, and many would say summer is too short.

University officials hope to hype up summer school by making classes and times more appealing to students.

“Summer is an opportunity to save time, get ahead and get to graduation quicker,” Terri Christensen, executive director of student success, said.

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Noel-Levitz, a consulting firm that specializes in college retention and recruitment is scheduled to meet with all the colleges today and Friday to determine how each college and department can make better use of summer school.

“In the future, I look for the summer schedule to be changed dramatically,” Christensen said.

According to preliminary discussions, the university is targeting both high-ranking students, as well as those struggling academically.

Solid plans are in place to entice pre-freshman students to attend summer classes.

The President’s Summer Academy (July 14- Aug. 16) will target exceptionally high-ranking students who could come to campus early. Students would be given leadership research opportunities, academic-based classes and strong faculty mentorship.

A second plan, The Kent State Academy, is in the planning stages. This academy is being specifically designed for students who have been identified as needing additional support.

Supplemental instruction, study strategies and support services will help students stay on track.

LuEtt Hanson, associate dean of the College of Communication and Information, said she will attend today’s meeting with an open mind.

“While I have some suggestions of what we might want to talk about,” Hanson said, “I want to keep an open mind and hear what the consultants have to say.”

One of the main focuses, Christensen said, is to get the students to think about summer classes differently – an option toward a better learning experience and as a way to stay on track.

“This is our pilot program that will offer students the opportunity to be successful,” Christensen said.

Contact graduate offices reporter Stacy Rhea at [email protected].