Thoughts on Summer Session

Summer has arrived in Winston-Salem. Yesterday the temperatures were close to 90, and looks like today will be in that range too.

Summer also means that Summer Session is happening. Summer I is taking place right now, and Summer II will begin on July 7th (both are online this summer). Here are a few of the common questions I get about Summer Session, in case your Deac is considering it.

Can incoming ’24 students take summer school classes? The answer to that is yes! Details on how to register here (look for the section on newly-admitted students).

Which summer school class should I take? This is a matter of preference, and there is not a right or wrong, only what is right for an individual student. Some students take summer session because there is a prerequisite for their major and they want to take it where that can be their sole focus without other distractions. Some incoming students ’24 may want to get a jump start on taking their Basic or Divisional requirements, or get a sense of what a college level class is like. Still other students might be retaking a class they had not done as well in as they would like (important note: you can only retake a class at WFU if you got a C- or below; see details of repetition of courses).

Generally speaking, my advice is to take a summer school class in a subject you already like and were good at (either in high school or college). Why? A normal semester is 15 weeks. Summer Session is about 6 weeks, give or take. You are thus going to be learning the material at a very accelerated pace in the summer, so this might not be the time to attempt one of your harder Divisionals.

Should I take more than one summer school class per session? Again, not a right or wrong, just what is right for you. For an incoming student who has never taken Wake classes before, that might be ambitious to balance two at once (though certainly there are students who do this). For a more seasoned student with a well-established time management plan, it might be easier.

What are some of the reasons you like summer school? I tell my advisees that a benefit to summer school is it gives you flexibility later. Wake requires 120 credits to graduate, which breaks out into 8 semesters of 15 credits each (on average). A typical course load for students would be five 3-credit classes per semester (so it totals 15). If you take a 3 credit summer school class, you could potentially just take 12 hours in a given semester – so you only have 4 classes to manage at a time, not 5.

Where can I find courses being offered this summer? We’ve got you covered here.

Summer Session might be right for your Deac – or might not be. But hope this has been a small and helpful introduction to some of the considerations. As always, if your Deac is interested, have them do the legwork and research; this builds up their skills in academic planning.

 

— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

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