The University of Indianapolis is offering more than 200 different courses for the summer of 2015.
The courses are aimed at undergraduate students and include introductory as well as upper-level courses in fields such as business, mathematics, the sciences, and the arts and humanities. Classes are being offered on campus, online and in a hybrid of online and in-class formats.
The courses are intended for undergraduate students in an effort by the university to help students graduate in four years. According to Executive Vice President and Provost Deborah Balogh, most adult program students and many of the graduate students already take courses year-round.
“We want students to have opportunities to meet the goal of finishing their degree in four years,” Balogh said. “It can be a way for students that have double majors to keep from falling behind. It can be an opportunity for students that changed majors to catch up. It can be an opportunity [for those] who maybe need an extra math or English class to be on track. Those gateway courses can become barriers for some students. The way to deal with that is to find a way to remove the barrier, and summer session becomes a way to do that.”
According to Balogh, UIndy is not the first school to increase its summer offerings. She believes that the increase is not only positive, but also to be on the same level as other schools.
“Some institutions have experimented with summer school and experienced success, and they are increasing their offerings. Others have experimented and found it not to be successful,” Balogh said. “I think all schools should be looking at summer as an alternative to meet the needs of our students better. From that perspective, we are on par for what we should be doing for our population.”
Balogh said that many of the classes are 100- and 200-level, and that courses are in high demand. One consideration in deciding which courses would be offered, was the number of students who were waitlisted and unable to get into a course during the regular school term. Balogh aimed for diversity when selecting courses, but student demand ultimately decided what would go in the summer catalog.
“We are going to look at what the student demand is for certain kinds of courses, and that may mean additional diversification,” Balogh said. “But at some point, that diversification will come to a halt because of the size of our population and the number of majors we offer on campus.”
Balogh said the university assembled a task force, made up of faculty and administrative and professional staff, to create the catalog for the summer term. The staff examined courses that had been successfully offered in the past as well as current interests in the different academic departments. They also looked at gateway courses, courses that are often repeated and courses that are in the Core Transfer Library.
“It [the Core Transfer Library] is a central menu of courses that any private or public school in the state can subscribe to,” Balogh said. “There is an articulation agreement that [states] our course—let’s say we offer a basic writing class—the other institutions review the course and indicate what of their courses that particular course will substitute for. It’s like an exchange agreement.”
Junior exercise science major Maya Vance is taking four courses at UIndy this summer so she can graduate early.
“I think summer classes are a great idea to get ahead in your curriculum, whether you want to graduate early or just have a lighter load during the school year,” Vance said. “I think they also help me to not lose or forget info I learned in the past year.”
Vance also said that she prefers to take the courses at UIndy rather than IUPUI or Ivy Tech like other students do.
“If I take classes at IUPUI or Ivy Tech, I earn the credits, but my grade isn’t added onto my GPA,” she said.
The first seven-week and 14-week sessions begin on May 11 and the second term will begin on June 29.