A look at summer classes at CCNY by Rachel Mines
CCNY student Don Gutierrez decided to switch his major from science to fine arts. In order to avoid falling behind and delaying his graduation, he took a couple of summer courses last year. He says he thoroughly enjoyed them. “The teachers were great,” says Gutierrez. “They had enthusiasm in the subject and knew how to bring the best material to students, partially because of a much quicker deadline.”
Yes, the days are long and the classrooms hot and stuffy, but students like Gutierrez say CCNY’s summer classes make sense.
This summer, the college is pushing to fill up its summer courses in hopes of bringing in students from outside of CCNY and convincing our students to take classes outside of their majors. It’s a win for the college in tuition dollars and for students in terms of educational enrichment. The college’s largest division, Humanities and Arts, has gotten creative this summer and is offering a collection of New York themed course such as Teaching Art About #BlackLivesMatter, The Origins Of Hip Hop, Food & Fashion-Arts & Culture: Covering New York, and James Baldwin in Harlem. Students in this semester’s MCA Ad/PR Workshop course are helping market these classes.
Humanities and Arts dean Eric D. Weitz stresses the importance of summer courses and encourages students to expand their vision and “find a particular passion, learn a little about everything and a lot about something.”
Even as the first session draws near, some students balk at spending their summer on campus.Many need to work summers to pay for their yearly tuition, others travel, and many simply can’t imagine sitting in a classroom during their vacation.
Others complain that financial aid doesn’t cover summer classes, making it difficult to find summer tuition money. CCNY student Andrew Pennant has had to jump through a series of financial hoops to finance his summer education. “I have to retake a physics course this summer,” explains Pennant. “Financial aid wasn’t paying so I have to take out a loan, but you can’t apply for a loan unless you are registered for at least six credits. So I’m also taking Art 101 even though I’ve already finished my Gen-Ed courses.”
Still, for those who are game, need credits and have a few dollars set aside, summer offers a good time to try a class outside of your major and explore something new.
And, it may help you get a job down the road. According to Kinetic, one of the Ad/PR workshop teams promoting summer courses: “Students often miss an opportunity to increase the value of their education by taking classes outside their major.”