With the end of the semester fast approaching, many students are looking forward to one of two things: summer break, or summer school. This May and June, Concordia will be offering close to 100 classes both on campus, and online.
Last year, SGA created an opportunity for students to suggest three classes they would like to see offered over the summer. That opportunity has continued this year, allowing Cobbers to bring three new summer exclusive classes to the Concordia curriculum: Death and Dying taught by Dr. Michelle Lelwica, chair and professor of religion; and Beginning Arabic I & II taught by Abeer Megahed, former Arabic professor at NDSU. In addition to these new classes, two of the student choice classes from summer 2016 will be continued this summer: Psychology of Sexuality taught by Dr. Philip Lemaster, assistant professor of psychology; and Psychology & Neuroscience of Sleep taught by Dr. Mikel Olson, chair and associate professor of psychology.
The teaching style of all summer classes is extremely varied. In addition to the classes taught in the classroom on campus, there are 5 accelerated classes as well as 30 online classes.
“[The accelerated] classes have an intensive first week, where students are there all day long, with their colleagues and the instructor,” said Summer School Coordinator, Dr. Cindy Carver. “They cover a lot of material, and then after that first intensive week each class continues in a different way. You might be out working on a project for the rest of the time, or you might come back together online every week. It depends on the class.”
For students heading out of the Fargo-Moorhead area for the summer, online classes can provide a flexible learning experience no matter where summer vacation takes you.
“It’s an extremely flexible program,” Olson said. “Last year I had a couple students who worked full time jobs during the day, and I had a few students who worked full time night shift jobs. We were able to meet online for an hour and a half around 6 p.m.”
The flexible delivery of the coursework, coupled with the variety of classes available, creates an opportunity for every Cobber to find a subject that can enhance their education, even during summer vacation.
“It’s a lot of work at your own pace,” Olson said. “And it allows you to really dive into a subject for that month and get a lot out of the experience.”
The 2017 Student Choice Summer Classes are unique and cover material that most students would not usually see at Concordia. Arabic is not a class traditionally offered at Concordia, but thanks to student interest, it will be available during both summer terms.
“[Carver] contacted me and said students wanted Arabic, so I found an Arabic instructor,” said World Languages Chair, Mary Rice. “Since it is not an official Concordia class yet it will be offered under the category of World Languages. We will be offering Beginning Arabic I in May and Beginning Arabic II in June. Depending on what happens, wemayormaynotofferitinthe future.”
The Arabic courses will be taught by Megahed, originally from Egypt, who has taught Arabic courses in the past at NDSU. It can be a new addition to many students’ majors, especially those studying Religion and Political Science.
“Students who might be interested in a political career or have an interest in working somewhere in the Arab speaking world would definitely benefit from learning Arabic,” Rice said. “Even potentially religion majors, because of Islam or wanting to have a better interfaith understanding. It’s a huge part of the world.”
Lelwica’s course, Death and Dying, will also give students a unique learning opportunity.
“Students in this class will have the opportunity to explore ideas about and attitudes towards death and dying in Christianity, Buddhism, and contemporary American culture,” Lelwica said in an email. “Students will explore these ideas through an integrative learning experience that puts them in proximity to death, for example, interning at a local mortician, or volunteering at a local nursing home or facility for elderly persons.”
Death and Dying will be held completely online.
“I’d recommend the class simply because everyone dies, and all of us love people who will eventually die,” Lelwica said in an email. “While that may sound like a major downer, understanding diverse ways humans have addressed the reality of death and dying, and facing those realities with curiosity and courage, can be catalysts for living more fully.”
Taking a summer class can be used to not only open up student schedules during the regular academic year, but also give students the variety they are looking for within their major.
“We like to encourage students to double major because it gives them more job possibilities, and a more well rounded education,” Rice said. “It also frees up time during the academic year for students to do other things, add that second major, in some cases a third major, study abroad, or even just take a class for fun. It gives students more flexibility that they wouldn’t have without summer school.”
During the summer term, most students take only one class which allows them to fully commit to learning about that specific subject.
“Summer courses allow students to deeply immerse themselves in a topic in a way that is often not possible during a busy semester,” said Lelwica in an email.
Registration for the summer semester will begin on March 14. The cost per credit is $730 dollars.