Summer U: Sum It Up!

The Summer U program at UVM is advertised on their website as “the place to get ahead or get caught up.” Maybe…but isn’t “Summer University” an oxymoron? It turns out that sacrificing your summer break might be worth it. Summer courses are technically just as good as any offered during the regular school year. The only significant differences are smaller enrollments, cheaper tuition costs, and warmer walks to and from class.Run by the Continuing Education branch of the University, Summer U offers classes in about sixty-seven different academic departments, ranging from Agricultural Biochemistry to World Lit. That adds up to about four hundred classes to choose from. In addition, there are several cross-discipline special programs available during the summer, such as Business Savvy for the Non-Business Major and the Integrated Media Studies Institute. Junior Linzay Tully, explained her experience last summer by saying, “It was a great way to earn nine credits in a month and get hands-on film-making experience. I would highly recommend it. You get a lot of one-on-one attention, the professors are excellent, and I was even able to get an internship for the school year out of it.”Many of the professors that teach UVM classes during the fall or spring semesters also instruct the same courses in the summer. Anne O’Brien, Senior Program Developer for Continuing Education, expounded that “on average in the summer about 65% are full time UVM faculty and the remainder are adjunct appointments.” Adjunct professors are temporarily hired by Continuing Ed, and are either visiting and employed at other universities, or simply have the necessary qualifications for teaching college classes. In all academic institutions and departments, the criteria for the professors are varied, but Summer U instructors are held to standards similar to UVM’s normal academic year standards. O’Brien explained that “faculty must have at least a master’s degree to teach at the University of Vermont in Continuing Education. They all must be approved to teach by the department in their discipline.” A search through the Summer U course offering will give you the description of a class, the name of the professor, and the enrollment limit. Astronomy 005-Exploring the Cosmos-will be with John Perry, who taught the class at UVM this year. It is usually a full lecture capped at one hundred and fifty students, at Summer U it is offered with an enrollment limit of only twenty students. Financially, Summer U is cheaper per credit than regular tuition is. Since the price of tuition is the same regardless of whether you’re taking twelve or up to eighteen credits, the average cost of one credit can vary. Not including any costs other than tuition charges, a full-time out-of-state student at UVM this academic year paid as little as $1313 per credit and as much as $1969 per credit (tuition was $23,638). For full-time in-state students, one credit cost at least $525 and at most $788 (tuition was $9,452). Compare these figures with the cost of one credit at Summer U: $940 for out-of-state and $384 per credit for in-state. This price remains constant regardless of the number of credits a student takes. At www.uvm.edu/~summer you can find links and information about life in Burlington during the summer, including help with housing and job opportunities.