What it is like to take a summer course


Photo submitted by Betsy St. Pierre

Not every student wishes to take a summer course. The most popular reasons are that they want a break or that summer classes are just too expensive.

Dr. Betsy St. Pierre just so happens to be one of the many professors teaching classes this summer.

St. Pierre is teaching classes this summer in Child and Adolescent Development, Applied Perspectives on Aging and Multicultural concepts.

“I believe summer courses give students a wonderful opportunity to get ahead in their degree program and possibly graduate sooner,” said St. Pierre, “In addition, most summer courses have a smaller professor to student ratio, so there is more time for faculty to get to know students and vice versa.”

St. Pierre believes that in spite of the fast-paced nature of summer courses, the students somehow seem more relaxed and eager to learn. She said this may be because of a relatively lighter workload than “regular” full semesters or because of the less-crowded summer atmosphere that is felt on campus.

St. Pierre also believes that the majority of students taking these courses are more active in their learning because they chose to enroll in non-mandatory summer courses. St. Pierre also said there is a higher participation and engagement on the students part.

Students say a popular concern about enrolling in summer courses is that they are very fast-paced and can be overwhelming. It brings into question the effectiveness and retention of the material being taught.

“I believe that some students may even learn more during a summer course because it is a shorter time span and they are able to consolidate their learning of a subject instead of spanning it across a semester. The faculty here at Nicholls State University are excellent and excel at teaching, regardless of the length of the course,” St. Pierre said.