6 reasons to take classes over the summer and intersession
When the semester is in full swing, the summer and holiday breaks start to look pretty appealing. The breaks a great time to refresh and prepare for the next semester.
But consider this: getting a step ahead by taking classes in between semesters.
The University of Guam offers four chances to take classes outside of the regular semesters: one during the holiday season — tinalo’ (December to January) — and three over the summer, or finakpo’ (May to August). Courses during these sessions comprise mainly general education and elective courses and are typically held five days per week for four weeks.
It may take a lot of convincing to lose some of the precious downtime during breaks in between semesters. But the advantages of taking a course during the finakpo' summer sessions or tinalo' intersession — from lower registration fees to the potential of graduating early — certainly make up for it.
Summer and intersession courses are condensed to fit a course’s curriculum into a
few weeks, compared to a normal semester’s months-long schedule. That means that a
student who takes a class between semesters will obtain the credits in a much shorter
time than a student who takes the same course in a regular semester.
Most courses available in summer and intersession, with the exception of internship credits, are 100- or 200-level general education and elective courses. Finishing required courses and prerequisites during the breaks can allow students to take upper level courses earlier, paving the way for an early graduation.
If you’re looking to spend less on courses, enrolling during the tinalo' and finakpo'
sessions is a great option.
“There are no student fees for the tinalo’ semester,” said Remedios “Remy” Cristobal, UOG’s registrar and associate dean of Enrollment Management and Student Success.
In tinalo’, students only need to pay for course credits and lab fees, if any. Students can save on fees during the finakpo’ summer sessions as well, with fees reduced to $315.50 from the regular semester fees of $403. If a student takes five credits or less during a finakpo' session, fees are only $99.25.
Taking general education and elective courses in between semesters can allow extra
time during the regular semesters for extracurricular activities, such as being involved
with student organizations, or for a flexible work schedule. In a way, taking a class during the break can actually
give students more of a break during a regular semester.
The extra breathing room can reduce stress and the possibility of burnout. You will also be able to give more attention to the fewer courses you do have during the longer semesters.
Worried about not being able to sign up for a class on time? Tinalo' and finakpo'
courses are not nearly as busy as those in the longer semesters.
“We normally offer a maximum of 60 course sections and have less than 500 for enrollment,” Cristobal said, meaning an average class size is eight or nine students.
With fewer spots in a class, students will have a more engaging experience by having more interactions with the professor and fellow classmates during and outside of class.
Additionally, most students only take one or two courses during an intersession, which allows for optimal focus on fewer assignments and projects.
Sometimes a course you planned to take one semester overlaps with another course you
need, leaving you needing to take one of them in a subsequent semester, potentially
delaying your graduation date. But if you get a few courses out of the way during
summer or intersession, scheduling conflicts later on will be less likely.
The breaks can be especially helpful in taking needed prerequisite courses so you’re ready for upper division classes when they’re offered. Part-time students can especially benefit from taking courses between semesters in terms of staying on track with a graduation schedule.
The tinalo' and finkapo' sessions present a prime opportunity to try something new and explore other degree options. If you’re unsure what to major in, or if you have second thoughts about your current track, take an elective during intersession relative to another degree program to see how you like it. That way, the extra course does not take up valuable time and money during the regular semester, which can add more stress.
For more information about enrolling in courses for the tinalo’ or finakpo' sessions, view the Course Schedule here, visit https://uog.edu/admissions, or call the Office of Admissions and Records at 735-2202.