California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Students contemplate having a scholastic summer

As the temperature becomes warmer and the season changes, summer quickly approaches.  Aside from spending time at the beach and lounging poolside all day, summer also means the start of California Lutheran University’s summer courses.

This year, CLU has encouraged students to enroll in summer courses. Spring break has yet to arrive, but emails previewing summer classes have already been sent.

“Over the years, we’ve tried to develop a summer program but it’s difficult to compete with community college here locally,” said William Bilodeau, chair of the geology department.

Bilodeau will be on campus this summer teaching Geol 282 –  surf and turf.  It is among the many courses that will be offered, including elementary Spanish, general chemistry and outdoor skills.

The most appealing benefit seems to be the idea of getting credits out of the way for a possible early graduation.

“We are seeing a few more students graduating in three and a half years, which is a good thing.  It gives students a head start in the job market and can reduce costs,” said Joan Griffin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  “We’re not saying ‘here is your three and a half year plan,’ but students are [accomplishing] it.”

Students can also focus on one class instead of balancing a full schedule.

“I took organic chemistry, which is a pretty brutal class to begin with and making it condensed over the summer made it especially tough, but I think it worked out really well,” said junior Matt Slaught.  “I was able to focus on just one class and didn’t have too much else going on.  It was still a good summer because I got to focus on one subject rather than four or five and got 10 credits out of the way, so it worked out well.”

Summer courses are often three to four hours long per class session.

“You only have one thing to worry about, one thing on your mind, but I can definitely say there is a fatigue factor that kicks in, especially if you take two semesters of the same or related course like I did,” Slaught said.

For many, classes do not come cheap at $2,205-$2940 per course. CLU is attempting to make classes more affordable for students.
“[CLU] has reduced the tuition to below what it is the other part of the year.  I’ve heard they’re trying to make housing work, as well.  They are trying to make it attractive for students,” Bilodeau said.

“We know that students would like to take summer school, so we’d like to enable students to take it on campus.  We’re trying to respond to what we are hearing from students,” Griffin said.

Despite costs and fatigue Slaught finds that summer school’s  benefits outweigh its  disadvantages.

“They are definitely expensive, but at the same time, you are getting a better education than [junior college] classes because it’s going through the university,” Slaught said.  “I’d do it again, it was a good experience.”


Jase Magarifuji
Staff Writer
Published March 12, 2014

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