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Summer semester offers challenges and rewards for students and professors

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summer on campusWhile most Colorado State University-Pueblo students are taking the summer off to enjoy vacations with friends and family or working part-time summer jobs, a lesser few – 1,045 to be exact – attend summer classes at the college on a daily basis, according to data from the Institutional Research Office.

The summer semester, which encompasses May, June and July, is divided into three sessions – each ranging in length from four to 12 weeks.

Other challenges students face during the summer, include depleted financial aid funds, fewer housing options on campus, and the lack of meal services.

On-campus housing is limited to Wolf Village and Greenhorn Hall for the summer months.  Students pay $125 per week or $500 per month for lodging.  During the fall and spring semesters, regular on-campus housing cost ranges between $2,830 and $2,895 – excluding fees – per semester.

A Q&A with CSU-Pueblo electronic media professor, Sam Lovato, revealed how the summer semester vary from other semesters.

How you think the summer semester impacts students and professors differently than the fall and spring semesters?

Summer courses require a different kind of commitment from students and professors, if you are a newbie prof or newbie student, results can me mixed – all parties need to know what they are getting into, it’s hard work meets high reward.

Do you think students struggle more keeping up with assignments during the summer?

I find students can be more successful over the summer; the intensity and rate of delivery can actually be a benefit to some.

Why are fewer classes offered during the summer than during regular semesters?

Professors are not required teach over the summer, the course offered have to “make” (enough enrollment) or you must take a reduction in pay/stipend, and Professors look forward to an opportunity to take a break.

Costs should be identical
. The university should only offer summer courses if it’s profitable.

How do you deal with the intense summer class schedule?

I’ve offered courses over the summer on and off for over two decades, I’ve gotten very good at developing course plans that are rigorous, intense, and very meaningful – long story short I can cover miles of territory in a very short period of time, then give the students the perfect blend of homework, hands on, testing opportunities – it’s all trial and error, and two decades of summers is plenty of opportunity to dial it in.

Are some classes more conducive to the summer sessions than others?

Certainly, I’ve found applied courses offered in MCCNM can work very well over the summer – that includes web design, audio/video production, broadcast newswriting, scriptwriting, digital photography, digital publishing/design, etc.

What advice would you offer students and professors who are contemplating attending or teaching classes during the summer?

Summer courses are difficult but worth it, it’s a good trade off, short-­‐term intense work for long term benefit, summer courses require endurance -­‐ not all students or professors are ready for the challenge.