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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Summer School a Popular Choice

By Netta S. Smith

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 21 - February 20, 1997

Summer Sessions has long offered a popular way for students to complete academic requirements and for others to take advantage of the university experience. Hundreds of classes are available during first and second sessions, and selected Arts and Sciences and Human Resources and Education classes are available during a 12-week semester.

According to Lisa Warren, public relations coordinator for Enrollment Services, students attend summer school at Virginia Tech for a variety of reasons. Many say they enjoy the interaction possible in small classes and the availability of professors. Others mention the accessibility of state-of-the-art facilities and the wide range of programs and services available. Still others like to take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere to learn about a subject that they have a special interest in, or ease their academic load for the coming school year.

A number of faculty and staff members take advantage of a lighter summer workload to work on a degree or to explore new subject areas. And some of their children who attend college elsewhere use their summer in Blacksburg to take a few courses at Virginia Tech.

Nancy Mignone had last attended Summer Sessions in 1980. However, as an employee at the Virginia Tech Museum of Natural History, Mignone decided to enrich her knowledge by taking Human Anatomy and Physiology, a subject she had always been particularly interested in. Mignone took the class during the12-week semester. "I wanted to take this class in college and never did," she said. "I would definitely recommend the experience because of the mellow atmosphere and excellent opportunity to enrich one's life."

Already employed by Virginia Tech's Center for Transportation Research, Nikki Mitchell decided to lighten her senior-year course load by taking a Summer Sessions engineering class. The flexibility of Summer Sessions enabled her not only to take a class and conduct research, but also to work with the National Society of Black Engineers, assist in the Office of Minority Engineering Programs, and work as a camp counselor. Mitchell said, "Participating in Summer Sessions was a great opportunity for me to do it all: conduct research, make extra money, and stay on track for graduation."

When Becca Maloney decided to lay the foundation for her career in engineering by participating in Virginia Tech's Co-op Program, she enrolled in Summer Sessions to ensure a timely graduation. While attending classes, Maloney also gave campus tours to prospective students, an extracurricular activity she was not able to participate in while away on her co-op assignment. "Taking classes this way is the best way to learn," Maloney said. "I did better in my classes because it allowed me to really stay on top of the material."

Preparing for their roles as student leaders, Jay Hulings, Student Government Association president, and Adam Boitnott, Interfraternity Council president, received grants from the university to work for campus organizations and simultaneously take summer classes. "The program made it possible for me to stay in Blacksburg over the summer and keep SGA projects up and running," Hulings said. Good friends and fraternity brothers, both were able to spend a summer in Blacksburg lightening their fall course loads while enriching their leadership skills.

First Summer Session runs from May 19 to June 28. The second session is June30 to August 9. The 12-week semester runs from May 19 to August 9 (selected Arts and Sciences and Human Resources and Education courses only).

Priority registration is March 18 to 25, in person or by mail. Students may register up until the first day of classes of each session.

For more information, contact the Office of Summer Sessions, 109 Burruss Hall, 1-5870, e-mail summer@vt.edu; URL, http://www.summer.vt.edu.