Stories produced by students in the Meek School of Journalism & New Media
The popularity of taking a Wintersession class is growing at Ole Miss. Enrollment is up about eight percent for the 2013 January term, with just under 3,000 students registered for classes.
Many of the 100-120 classes the university is offering are already full.
Though taking a Wintersession class requires students and teachers to give up two weeks of the university’s six-week winter break, many believe that is an acceptable sacrifice.
“It’s worth it because you get to get the class over within two weeks, which I think is a cool thing,” said sophomore Mollie McKay.
McKay took a Wintersession class in 2012 and is signed up to take another in 2013.
“It is a smaller, more intimate atmosphere, and with the teaching curriculum, it’s a lot nicer because it’s not usually in a big auditorium room,” added McKay.
During this two-week period, students are only allowed to take one class that meets every day for three and a half hours. Many of the classes offered are introductory courses.
Wintersession classes give students who may have fallen behind a chance to catch up, or give them a chance to focus more intently on a subject in which they may struggle since they are taking them without the distraction of other classes.
Some Ole Miss instructors like teaching during the short sessions, too.
“The students I have interacted with tend to be pretty driven, pretty motivated, and I have found that the grades tend to be much higher despite covering the exact same material, the same level of difficulty of exams and the same grading scale,” said Dr. Kenneth Sufka, who teaches an introductory psychology course during the January term.
The additional fees charged for Wintersession are beneficial for the different departments that offer January classes. The money that students pay to take these courses goes to fund the extra needs of those departments.
Teachers are also given the opportunity to earn some extra money for themselves by offering a class during the January term.
“We make money off these classes to give it back,” said Don Howie, director of Summer School and Intersession Programs.
The money may be used to fund research, travel or equipment for the department.
Students have until Jan. 1 to drop or add a Wintersession class. The registration process is the same as that for spring or fall classes.