Summer Session Benefits

Summer classes ensure students stay on track

Whether you take summer classes to get ahead, catch up or stay on track, Summer Session offers many benefits for current and new students.

“I take summer classes to keep me on track to graduate by 2016,” said Erika Keller, an English Education major who said summer classes lighten her load during the school year and allows her to focus intently on each class.

The sophomore isn’t a summer school newbie. She took summer classes during high school at her local technical college to prepare for the transition to MSUM.

“Taking college-level classes while in high school was a huge wake up call for me,” Keller said. “I’m glad I got it then instead of my freshman year here; it also made me excited for college.”

Twelve to 14 credits per semester is a manageable load for Keller, “and helps me not stress out. Summer session eases the load during the school year and keeps me in the mindset of learning and studying. That way I don’t struggle so much getting back into the swing of things in the fall.”

Many summer session courses are offered online to benefit students going home to work during the summer.

“Taking summer classes, whether online or not, can be both easy and difficult because it’s so condensed and there’s a lot to do in a short period of time,” Keller said. “I had to stay really focused to make sure I got things done on time.”

Keller believes focusing on one or two classes at a time boosts her learning. She also likes staggered start dates because it helps her get a handle on one class before adding another to the mix. Finally, earning full credits for a three-week class provides a great sense of personal accomplishment.

She recommends the following to students pursuing summer classes:

  • Plan your course schedule out as far as possible
  • Select courses wisely (balancing writing intensive courses with non, staggered start dates, length of classes, etc.)
  • Stay focused and work hard
  • Work part time instead of full time, and only if you’re sure you can stay focused
  • Plan your time wisely
  • Be confident in your ability to get things done
  • Ask teachers questions

Keller expects a job opening at her high school in 2016, so she’s determined to have her degree in hand by that date so she can apply for her dream job. Taking summer classes ensures she’ll accomplish that goal.

“I’m not trying to sugarcoat summer school. It’s a great experience, but by end of it you will be exhausted. Don’t let that steer you away. I was glad to be done and relax for a few weeks after it was all done! Summer school is a very good experience and, in my opinion, well worth it.”

Summer Session website.