Attention Trent Students! Have you considered taking summer courses? The decreasing yet ever-present list of assignments still to be completed and anxiety for upcoming exams would suggest to me that maybe you haven’t just yet. That is understandable, the average student is rather unlikely to be anxious about summer courses after spending the past eight months in lectures and seminars, working on assignments and contemplating the means by which one’s student loans will be paid after all this is over. However, we at Arthur would suggest that you find the time to take a look at what Trent has to offer this coming summer. It may just benefit some of you in the long run. Whether you need to make up for shortcomings during the September-April academic year, attempting to fast track an Honours degree in three years, or are merely getting a head start on next year required courses, there are some benefits to giving up a part of a long summer to secure one’s academic standing. Arthur was able to get in touch with Lillian Chumbley, Administrative Technician in Distance Education (Information Technology) and she was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions.

Arthur (A): Are all summer courses available online?

Lillian Chumbley (LC): No, there are more than 300 summer courses (Peterborough and Oshawa), 24 are available online.

A: For those courses that are available online, does the student have to be present on campus at any point in time for the duration? If so, how often?

LC: No, students do not need to actually be on campus to take an online course. However, some courses require an on campus exam which students within 200 km of a Trent campus will need write at their preferred site. For students outside of the 200 km range we (Distance Education) work with them towards an alternative arrangement.

A: What summer courses have been added to the roster this year?

LC: Brand new for summer: Forensic Entomology, Biological Anthropology and Archaeology, Dreams and Dreaming, History of Psychology.  New this year: Current Issues in Biology I, Current Issues in Biology II, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Child Development, Family Development. The full list of online courses is available at: http://www.trentu.ca/distanceeducation/courses.php

A: To what extent do students usually participate in summer courses at Trent?

LC: Last summer there were 460 enrolments in online summer courses. (Out of about 4000 summer course registrations.)

A: Are the summer courses being taught by the same faculty members that would teach them during the May-April academic year?

LC: Many are. Online courses are staffed the same way as on campus courses. Some professors may teach just one class, either online or on campus.

A: What would you say are some of the benefits of taking summer courses?

LC: Summer courses allow students to gain credit over the break. Students can complete a half-credit course in six weeks or a full credit course in 12. Taking it course online lets the student be a little more flexible in the time of day they choose to study. It is important for students to recognize however, that the course is has the same requirements as a full-term on campus course. They will have to do the same amount of work just in a shorter time period.

A: The Trent website states that the university “reserves the right to cancel courses with insufficient enrolment.” What is the minimum number necessary for a class to go on as planned?

LC: The minimum to run a course varies, but based on current registrations for the summer all of the online courses will run.

A: Are summer courses available at every level, that is, for those going in their 2nd, 3rd, 4th year?

LC: There are online courses at every level.

Just as a side note readers, the list of available online courses available to Trent students this summer has doubled, so keep that in mind. For further information such as course durations and costs, check out the Trent website at http://www.trentu.ca/summer/ .