Summer School Comes to CMC

Billing it as a way to help students complete General Education requirements, Claremont McKenna will launch a pilot program of summer classes this May.  The program will be open to current CMC and 5C students, alumni, and students from other colleges in good academic standing. "I'm very enthusiastic about summer programming and the opportunities it will provide," said Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor Lisa Cody, who worked closely with Dean of Faculty Greg Hess to develop the program.  Cody and Hess worked with the Curriculum Committee, charged with the development of new courses, major requirements, and programs such as the Robert A. Day School of Finance, and the Board of Trustees to develop the structure and goals of the summer school pilot program.

Chief among the committee's concerns were to provide students with more options in completing their General Education requirements and to assess the long term feasibility of summer programming at CMC.

The decision to start the pilot program was based on research examining how many students have already taken summer transfer courses and interest levels from both parents and students.

Lisa Cody will teach a course this summer, as will Manfred Keil, Brock Blomberg, Gaston Espinosa, and others.  Planned summer courses will satisfy General Education requirements and include some 20 offerings across economics, math, natural science, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, French, and an intensive Arabic program.

The Arabic program will be an intensive immersion program with students spending the full day together, with class, lab, lecture, and other activities.

Tuition is estimated at around $3750 per course ($7500 for the intensive Arabic program) plus room and board. Federal loans (Stafford and Perkins) may be applied to the summer semester, but there will be no institutional financial support (i.e. grants from CMC).

A summer program has been under consideration by the Curriculum Committee for some time now, previously discussed in another form as The Dartmouth Plan which consists of a mandatory semester off in addition to summer courses. In addition to giving students a leg up in terms of internships, the Dartmouth Plan is also viewed as a cost-saving measure.

When asked if the pilot program could eventually evolve into a Dartmouth Plan at CMC, Cody did not rule it out, saying, “We’d need more people—staff, faculty—before a Dartmouth Plan would be possible. Students have had mixed reactions.”

Until now, Pitzer and Scripps were the only schools to offer summer courses at the Claremont Colleges, with Pitzer offering a range of classes drawn primarily from the school's social science specialties and Scripps offering science classes through Joint Science. CMC's summer school pilot program would directly compete with the Pitzer and Scripps programs, which CMC students attend every year.