June 05, 2017 2:30PM
Tadd Lucian has a full summer planned. Along with living and working full-time in Overland Park, he’s also planning a trip overseas.
And he’s doing all of that while also earning six credit hours toward his graduate degree in human resource development from Pittsburg State University.
“As a graduate student who works a full-time job, six hours over the summer allows me to graduate one semester sooner, which permits me to use the knowledge I’ve learned in my profession that much earlier,” said Lucian, a Columbus native.
Lucian is one of more than 2,220 students who are enrolled in Pitt State's summer session, which began June 5. He’s also one of more than 850 students who are taking classes solely online during the summer.
Lynette Olson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the university continues to increase its summer online course offerings so more students have the flexibility to complete courses from wherever they spend the summer. This year, 199 of the 427 summer courses are offered online. That’s up from 182 online courses last summer.
“We know that many students travel or return to their hometowns during the summer, and we want them to have the ability to continue their education from wherever they may be,” Olson said. “That’s why we continue to focus on increasing the number of online course options, as well as bolstering our on-campus courses.”
Sophomore LaKynne McElroy, an integrated studies major from Erie, said online summer courses are especially beneficial to students who have busy schedules outside of school. McElroy is taking summer courses both online and on campus this year.
“It is important that PSU offers online courses because a lot of students work or intern at various places during the summer,” she said. “Online courses allow students more schedule flexibility, giving the students the option to work around their busy summer schedules.”
McElroy, who also minors in society, sustainability, and resource management, said while summer is often thought of as a time for relaxation, it’s also an important time to stay academically sharp.
“Summer courses allow students to stay focused on school, even during the summer,” she said. “Summer courses can also relieve a lot of the pressure to cram so many credit hours into one semester which can help with grades and stress levels.”
For some students, however, the summer session can actually help with the cramming of credit hours.
“In order to graduate with two separate degrees and a minor in four years, summer school is necessary,” said junior Kolleen Gladden. “I am on an academic journey to take 71 credit hours this year in hopes of raising my GPA from a 3.90 to a 3.95 for law school applications.”
Gladden, who double-majors in English and graphics and imaging technologies, is enrolled in 11 credit hours this summer. She completed 31 hours in the spring and plans to take 29 in the fall. She said summer courses can help relieve some of the pressure of the spring and fall semesters.
“It is vital for PSU to offer summer courses because it allows for students to obtain necessary academic requirements in order to graduate within a specific time constraint or to allow for other hindrances,” Gladden said.
Lucian said that because of the shorter timeframe of summer courses, they serve as valuable training for the professional world.
“You learn things at a much quicker pace and the challenges are greater,” he said. “This is what it’s like in the professional world. Go quick, learn quick. The skills that summer courses teach can be applied in any workforce.”
The summer session at PSU runs from June 5 to July 28. For more information, visit pittstate.edu/summer.