Summer Session 2011!

For the second year in a row, Claremont McKenna College will be offering a number of courses to students over the summer, and this year is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever. CMC’s summer session first began in 2010 to allow students to take care of their required courses with more flexibility. The Forum spoke to Associate Dean of Faculty Lisa Cody about CMC’s Summer Session and its significance to the college as a whole. She explained that the Summer Program was first explored two years ago in hopes that it would help students “fulfill GE’s, some basic major requirements, and even electives with as much flexibility as possible.”

The first summer session experienced great success, and students seemed to find the smaller size classes particularly rewarding. Students, who were able to work with both guest professors and regular CMC faculty in classes as small as six students, wrote glowing course evaluations. Dr. Cody said “I've never seen anything like it during either of our regular fall or spring semesters.”

This summer, students have an even greater variety of courses to choose from, including both six week courses and, for those looking to maximize their time on campus, three week long “intensive” courses. These classes range from Intermediate Microeconomics to Introduction to American Politics to Calculus I, and many more.

In addition, participants in summer session classes have many opportunities not available during the normal school year.  Since summer students normally have more free time, professors may feel less inclined to restrict their lessons to a classroom setting. Take, for example, the intermediate Spanish course (Spanish 33) that will be taught by Professor Nicole Altamirano.  To add depth and interest to the course, Professor Altamirano plans to take her students to a number of interesting events and locations, including a Mexican supermarket and even a Mexican wrestling match.

Many other schools offer summer programs as well, but CMC manages to offer students a much different experience. Dr. Cody pointed out that “very few summer programs at other highly ranked colleges and universities rely on their very own faculty to teach their summer programs. Claremont is different and special.” CMC, she went on to explain, uses its normal faculty, the same excellent professors whose classes students vie for during the fall and spring to teach its summer session.

The administration sees this program primarily as a means to give students extra flexibility in the manner in which they satisfy both general education and major requirements, regardless of their ability to pay. To that end, CMC offers financial assistance, just as it does during the academic year, for Summer Session to students who qualify.

Cody hopes that, with the opening of the Kravis center this year, the program will be able to expand. She told the Forum that “With more space and whatever ideas faculty have, combined with Claremont students' wishes, we should be able to offer additional, full summer programming.”

Spots in summer session classes are still open, but are closing fast. Tuition is due by May 20th, so time is running short. If you’re still not sure what this summer has in store for you, why not spend a few more weeks here in camp Claremont and knock out that GE you still need to take? As the summer session homepage puts it, “Summer is hot in Claremont, but it is a cool place to be!”  Look here for more information.