GW expands summer class options

Students can participate in four more summer programs this year, as part of the University’s plan to add course variety and gain additional revenue in the summer months.

This year’s new programs are “History and Theory of Human Rights,” “Health Promotion in Minority Communities,” “50 Years After Brown v. Board of Education” and “International Communication.”

The 10-week programs cost about $7,000 and count for 12 credits. Students usually pay about $700 per credit hour, saving about $1,400 if enrolled in a program.

“It is really a fabulous opportunity for students to work in a smaller class and focus on a top of their interest, with an experienced teacher that also loves the topic,” said Donna Scarboro, assistant vice president for Special and International Programs.

The “Broadcast Summer” and “Security in an Insecure World” programs debuted last year.

In the “Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Minority Communities” program, students will learn about disease prevention and racial factors contributing to health promotion. The “History and Theory of Human Rights” courses examine political and civil liberties issues through the perspectives of several disciplines including history and biology.

The “50 Years After Brown v. Board of Education” session teaches students about the evolution of civil rights in America since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case.

Earlier this semester, Donald Lehman, executive vice president for Academic Affairs, said he would put together a committee to investigate ways that the University can earn additional revenue. Options may include a winter term or expanded summer options.

Lehman said he has not begun to choose committee members or do research, but “it’s going to happen.” He said in January that he would like to begin committee work in March.

Jean Folkerts, associate vice president for Special Academic Initiatives, said over the past few years the University has earned an average of $10 to 12 million from summer sessions.

GW also offers more than 700 courses in two six-week summer sessions, which officials said are the most popular.

Lehman said 4,285 students participated in summer courses last year, compared to 4,185 in 2002. He said undergraduates made up about 1,000 of the students each summer.

Because courses are condensed into a shorter time frame than in a regular semester, officials said classes meet twice as often.

“The contact and credit time is the same,” said Tim Terpstra, director of Summer Sessions, University Students and Academic Integrity. “The study is much more intense, but students can focus on just two or three classes at a time.”

Students can also take summer classes from home via the Internet.

The University will offer about 35 classes this summer, Lehman said. Most distance courses are introductory, but GW also offers some upper level and graduate courses.

“It’s not a whole spectrum of courses of course,” he said.

Last summer, 260 students participated in distance education compared to 188 in 2002. Lehman said he attributes the growth to marketing the programs.

“People recognize the quality of GW courses,” he said.

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