Summer sessions credited for being a graduation game changer
April 24, 2014
With the start of the 2014 Virginia Tech Summer Sessions just a little more than a month away, there is still time to finalize academic plans and secure a seat in the wide range of courses being offered.
Summer Session I spans May 27 through July 3, followed by Summer Session II which runs July 8 through Aug. 16.
Summer sessions is distinctive in that it offers two, six-week sessions (Summer I and II); along with special mini-sessions, with students having the option of taking classes on campus and at a distance, including study abroad experiences.
For students studying at the Blacksburg campus, there are a wealth of outdoor activities with mountains and trails just minutes from campus, along with Claytor Lake and the New River for tubing, kayaking, and water fun. The town hosts a variety of festivals and outdoor concerts, along with the Center for the Arts summer line-up. Most recently, student leaders shared in a meeting with future Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands that “a special sense of community develops at Virginia Tech in the summer months.”
“One of the things that students find most appealing about summer courses is the ability to have that dedicated focus on the subject matter; as students can earn up to 12 credits over the course of both summer sessions,” notes Michael Herndon, director of summer and winter sessions. “We are truly a one-stop shop.”
Herndon notes that summer is a true graduation game changer for many students, allowing students to graduate on time, or often ahead of schedule. It also helps students who are double-majoring or want to add a minor.
Equally, summer session sets the stage for faculty members to develop and launch new courses through the Provost Summer Sessions Grant Program. Grant applications are due during the fall semester proceeding the summer session the faculty member will be teaching. To qualify for the summer session grant funding, courses must reflect additional offerings and meet these criteria areas:
- Provide general education (Curriculum for Liberal Education) credit;
- Provides major credit;
- Serve as a prerequisite for a required course; and
- Meets university scorecard metric goals (experiential; service learning).
John Boyer, senior instructor of geography, talks about his upcoming online course for summer 2014
Below is a sampling of some of the courses for Summer I and II:
- Concepts of Biochemistry (face-to-face course)
- Short course in fundamentals of the chemistry of living systems with an introduction to major categories of biochemical substance, metabolic pathways, and principles of biochemical information transfer.
- Introduction to Appalachian Studies (online course)
- Through comparison with other cultural groups, explores humanistic problems of cultural identity, race and ethnicity, and globalization.
- Literature and Cinema (online course)
- Focus on works of literature and the films into which they have been transformed; emphasis on differences between media.
- Violent Political Change (face-to-face course)
- Students will draw upon the instructor’s field research in countries that have faced violent political change, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Central America, and Cuba.
- Animal Physiology and Anatomy: (face-to-face course and laboratory)
- First introduced in the 2013 Summer Academy, this course is ideal for transfer students to learn the basic concepts and principles of physiology and anatomy in the summer as they make the transition to Virginia Tech. The course is also available to returning students.
- Vector Geometry: (face-to-face and online course)
- This course, along with 1114 and 1205-1206, constitute the freshman science and engineering mathematics course.
- Natural History of the Great Smoky Mountains (special studies course)
- Seven-day residential experience (August 3-9) at the Great Smoky Mountains providing an unsurpassed natural laboratory for ecological and biological course fieldwork.
- Human Genetics (face-to-face course)
- Human genetics is rapidly becoming ‘human genomics'; students will be acquainted with impact that this transition is now having on this field and biology in general.
All of the summer course offerings can be found on the Virginia Tech Time Table of Classes. Online courses are listed under the ‘Virtual Campus’ category. More information on summer session enrollment, resources, and opportunities are available through the Office of Summer Sessions.
Email the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid or call 540-231-5179 to discuss opportunities for summer aid, or visit the website for more information.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.