Benefits of Summer Classes

Summer Classes

Alexander Vo

Summer is the time of year when the sun is out, the weather is hottest, and students are done with classes. Three months of no classes means there’s more time to relax and enjoy a long vacation, or spend the time working to make money and gathering more work experience. For those three months, there’s virtually no worries about getting to class or completing homework on-time. 

However, what students may not think about is summer classes. Every year, Oregon State University hosts summer classes, allowing students to use their summer term to either catch up and complete missed or failed classes, or take classes ahead of time to get them out of the way.

Rebecca Badger is the Director of Marketing Enrollment services for ecampus and her team answers calls and emails from prospective students to provide information about online classes and summer-session classes on campus. Badger took the time to explain how summer classes can work favorably for students.

“For a lot of Oregon State students, they choose to take summer classes to get ahead in their coursework, which helps students graduate on time. They can choose from six different class sessions that run from one to twelve weeks in length. These flexible class sessions allow students to study, but also work, travel, study abroad or go home for part of the summer. Students use the summer break to work or find an internship that may help them for their employment after college.”

Unfortunately, some students may run into a problem of housing. As students may not live in Corvallis, it can be a bit of a drive to get onto campus. Students may not secure housing over the summer in the vicinity of the city, and may encounter problems with attending classes, should they decide to take on-campus classes. There’s also the problem with internships and jobs that students may take on during the summer time, which classes may conflict with. Badger shared information on how the university has helped with this issue 

“There are some things that the university has done to help students with that. One of those is shorter summer class sessions, so you can take a class over one week, and still be able to do your internship or work. University Housing and Diving Services at OSU has also been really flexible and accommodating to help students with housing options, for those kinds of situations where you do want to take a class but you’re not in a lease and don’t have a house or apartment.” 

One thing students may worry about is graduation. Graduation occurs at the end of spring term each year, but some students may not have enough credits to finish by the end of spring, or they may want to accelerate their pace to graduate earlier than usual to get the schooling out of the way. Students may also have trouble getting into classes due to class sizes and availability of seating, so summer classes can help students take classes that would otherwise be generally full during the regular school terms.

Selena Vallespir is an Academic Advisor for the school of Digital Communication of Arts. She works with students to check in on their progress towards graduation and helps advise students on the best course of action towards planning out which classes to take each term. Vallespir discussed how each student has different circumstances surrounding their academic progress and how students can utilize summer classes to their advantage.

“It depends on the individual student. Sometimes it’s helpful for students who are, for example, pursuing the bachelor of arts, who need two years of a second language. And if they want to do that quickly, they can take a full-year sequence over the summer and take the second year over the academic year and be done with that requirement.” 

As mentioned earlier, some students do fall behind when it comes to classes, whether that’s due to dropping or failing a class, or because the student doesn’t take enough classes per term to meet the standard rate of classes towards graduating, which is, on average, 12 credits a term equating to 3 classes. Vallespir assures students that they can still be on track to graduate on time. 

“Students who fall behind, in terms of their graduation requirements and timeline, might want to throw in summer classes to help stay on track for their desired graduation date. That can also help you graduate early, and work on a minor, in case you have an intense major that doesn’t offer a lot of flexibility in class times.”

Summer classes can be taxing due to having to spend the summer time taking classes, and students may also have trouble with outside issues such as housing and even loans, but OSU provides enough resources to help students meet their academic needs, and help provide a way to stay on track and graduate on time.

For students who are still interested in taking summer classes, there is still one more session available Aug. 20 – Sept. 7. Class availability is dependent on the session, so be sure to check OSU’s 2018-19 class catalog online to see which classes are available.

Photography by Nathan Dumlao (via

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