Following the success of last year’s trial, WSU will be keeping the three credits in three weeks courses to be offered during winter break. For some, this is a great way to get a leg up on their degrees. For others, it will be a great way to waste $1,500 in addition to books and, more importantly, time.
The premise is simple. Students enroll in these intensified versions of classes from varied fields of study. These classes are held completely online and take place during the course of three weeks. Note that I said three weeks, not three months, which would be more like the rest of our classes. Needless to say, these classes move a lot faster than the traditional classes we have all drudged through. Also, because these classes are completely online, students have to be self-motivated and adapt to the new medium.
A few years ago, there was debate as to whether or not to hold winter session at all. It is hard to come down on one side of this issue because the fact of the matter is it depends on the student. Like I just said, these classes require a certain kind of student: One who is adaptive, motivated and able to learn without chatting with their neighbor.
There are some students on campus that can greatly benefit from these classes. They sign up, pay their dues and spend the next three weeks living the class they chose. They finish the session content in the knowledge that they will be able to graduate on time without having to worry if they got enough credits of underwater basket weaving. For these students alone the program should endure.
But of course, not every student on campus is so lucky. No one mistakes us for Harvard or Yale. WSU is not overflowing with great intellectuals. We have many students who never show up to class. Some who do just half sit/half slouch in their sweat pants and catch up on their Facebooking.
If I just described your every weekday, then winter session is not for you. More often than not, these students sign up thinking they can just blow off these classes like they can (debatably) blow off their normal classes. They usually meet with a rude awakening. So please, if you are one of these people, stay away from winter session – and grad school while you are at it.
When I first started this column, I mentioned that in addition to tuition and books, some students would also be wasting time. I did not just mean their time, but also (and some might say more importantly) the time of the professors who have to put up with them for those three weeks when they could be relaxing from putting up with them during regular semester classes.