Last fall’s campaign to emphasize the benefits of taking a summer semester has been a success with summer enrollment up nearly 25 percent, but school officials aren’t giving up the initiative just yet.
General enrollment is on the rise and administrators are struggling to make space while students are scrambling to secure the classes they need. Encouraging students to take more summer courses remains the best solution to both problems.
“We have the space available; we have adjunct faculty and regular faculty who are willing to take summer contracts. Increased summer enrollment is not as difficult for us as it is in the fall or spring,” said Michelle Taylor, associate vice president for enrollment management.
There are numerous benefits to taking classes during the summer. Pell Grants now cover tuition for summer semester. In-state tuition rates apply to everyone during the summer, saving international and out-of-state students thousands of dollars.
The summer semester has also been simplified to a two-block system, offering students more flexibility.
“It’s not so overwhelming if they want to take a summer vacation,” Taylor adds.
Administrators recognize that increasing summer class offerings is only a temporary solution, as they expect enrollment to continue to increase.
“We’re an education destination and a very popular one currently, in part, because we offer so many different options at this point as an university.” said Chris Taylor, vice president of marketing and communication.
In response to this increasing popularity, administrators have developed a ten-year master plan to improve the campus. The first phase of the plan— expanding the Business building— has already begun. The Science building is the next to be improved, with plans to add more classrooms and laboratory space.
Later phases, which are awaiting legislative approval, include new parking structures and an intermodal hub. There are also plans to construct new buildings every two years.
Administrators will continue to examine different ways to improve the campus and provide more opportunities for students. In the meantime, summer classes might be just what students are looking for.