Cedarville University is making the summer school experience more affordable and enjoyable, said Jewerl Maxwell, associate dean for the Center for Lifelong Learning.
For at least summer 2014, students can receive 25 percent off summer school tuition for every credit hour over four credits, the Center for Lifelong Learning recently announced. This means that students taking more than four credit hours will pay $767 per credit for the first four credits and $575 per credit for any additional credits.
Maxwell said the discount is the result of a two-year search for a way to make summer courses more affordable. Maxwell said President Dr. Thomas White has indicated that he wants to put an emphasis on affordability, and the discount is another step toward that goal.
“As I’ve gone through various proposals,” Maxwell said, “it kind of came back to maybe the best way to accomplish this is to reach out to those who are taking more than one class.”
Maxwell said as they worked through different ideas, they realized that this was the best way to increase affordability.
“We do recognize that typically those who are taking more than one class are doing it because they need to,” he said. “Perhaps they need to get ahead in terms of a major, maybe they are trying to add a second major, perhaps they’re trying to graduate early. And rather than cost being prohibitive for them to use that as a strategy, we wanted it to actually be helpful to them if they were taking a second class.”
Maxwell said they are currently unsure if they will continue the discount past this summer, but they will review its productivity and success and move forward from there.
For students Ali Bigler and Jordan Gates, both early childhood education majors, the discount comes at an important point in their education. During May term, both students are planning on completing the Early Childhood Generalist Endorsement program, which is required for teaching above the third grade. And, as Gates said she was told this might be the last time the four-class, nine-credit program is offered at Cedarville because of changes in Ohio law and interest in the course, the discount comes at an opportune time.
“Of course, Cedarville’s tuition rate is expensive, so it helps a little with the debt, and if it can help a little, that’s really nice,” Gates said. “It made me feel better about taking my May term courses this year.”
Along with May term classes, Maxwell said, the discount also applies to online courses and any credits that fall within the summer IV category, which includes internships, independent studies and out-of-class courses.
“There were thoughts to, ‘Should we strategize and try to grow May term? Should we try to grow online?’ and I didn’t want to target either one of those, really,” Maxwell said. “I wanted it to help as many students as possible.”
Along with affordability, the Center for Lifelong Learning is working to create a new, more enjoyable May term experience. Maxwell said the center, which has received multiple requests from students who missed the atmosphere of the school year during the summer, is partnering with student life to provide more events and activities for students taking May term classes.
Becky Stowers, associate dean for campus life, said they want to provide stress-relieving activities – which may include mini ALT nights and discount tickets to nearby attractions – on weekday evenings or weekends.
Bigler said the added activities would be a fun option during the additional weeks of classes.
“I would probably do stuff like that,” she said. “Because while you’re here, you’re in such intense classes, and having something fun to do would be great.”
Stowers said they hope the added activities will be a highlight for the students staying at school for the summer term.
“It is really a great time to get credits in or if you need a couple classes to lighten loads for other semesters,” Stowers said. “It’s a great time, and if we actually add more fun activities with it, it’s a little bit more incentive to do it as well.”
Emily Finlay is a junior journalism major and a reporter for Cedars. She loves writing, reading and every type of geekery and hopes to eventually write for National Geographic.