Winter Courses Are a Mixed Bag, Students Say

Students Discuss the pros and cons of taking a winter course

By Emily Zoda

As the snow falls upon us, so does winter intersession at CSI. The time of year where most people are tucked away on their precious winter break, others are studying for a passing grade.

Starting in January, just after New Year’s, students begin their winter classes. Students often take winter classes to make up for failing or withdrawing from their class in the fall semester.

Others take an extra class during winter when they’ve loaded up their spring semester, in order to graduate on time.

CSI’s website for winter session promises “more course offerings, convenient schedules, affordable tuition.”

But the process is not always that easy.

“Financial aid didn’t cover the cost of my class,” said CSI student Domenico Buono. “I had to pay for the class out of pocket.”

According to CSI’s website, very limited financial aid is available for those who wish to take winter classes. One should consult a financial aid advisor before registering to make sure they’ll receive enough aid.

And if you’re working to pay out of pocket for your classes, these classes are Monday through Thursday every week during a set time, making it an inconvenience for many to work their usual hours.

Buono, who has a full time job and goes to school full time, admits his schedule is inconvenient.

Buono said that his class is in the middle of the afternoon when he could be working.

On the other hand, it’s more convenient for students living on campus. At that point it’s only a matter of getting the class you need.

Pablo Llerena, a CSI junior and biology major, planned on taking a class with a professor he knew he’d like.

“[Yes], it was a physics class I wanted to take with a specific professor,” said Llerena. “But it was close[d] on the same day when registration was open.”

Because the classes are only three weeks long, they run every day except for Friday and usually have an average time of about three hours per class.

Since there is significantly less time during intersession, professors jam pack all course material into those three weeks and wish their students luck on the final to get the grade.

Being that many student aren’t willing to sacrifice one’s winter break, attendance in winter courses aren’t very high.

The small class sizes are supposed to help the class move quickly through lessons and along with longer class time it allows for time to go back to things others might need extra time on without hindering the entire class.

“…In the case of my professor, he’s making the material as simple as possible,” said Buono. “There’s no fluff and filler to the the lectures, the professor works us at a good pace and is willing to go back and work on problems one person may not understand.”

It’s understandable to say that for people who want to get a degree on time, or faster, they’re bound to be more focused in this intense environment of learning.

“Being that we are paying out of pocket for summer and winter sessions, there’s a sense of urgency to understand and really absorb and know the material,” said Buono.

Depending on the course you need and your financial situation, taking extra class or two in between semesters can help get a different classroom experience and on track to graduation.


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