Summer classes offer great opportunity

Alex Pilsl, senior in entrepreneurship, bowls with his buddies on Jan. 27, 2014 at the K-State Union. Bowling classes are one of many fun summer classes offered at K-State. (File Photo by Taylor Alderman | The Collegian)

School is typically the last thing that students want to do during the summer. But for many students, summer is an opportunity to focus on hard classes, catch up on credit hours and learn unique lessons.

Julie Pentz, associate professor of dance and director of the K-State dance program, teaches a four-week introduction to dance course. The students learn various styles of dance, ranging from ballet to tap to West African.

“The accelerated pace of the dance class helps students learn the material more effectively,” Pentz said. “Meeting with students for two hours every day helps them memorize the dances at a faster pace.”

Those two hours of in-class practice are an essential part of passing. Pentz, however, also said she enjoys getting know her students during that short but valuable time.

“I meet with my students daily, so I do get to know them a lot quicker,” Pentz said. “And it’s summer time; students always seem happier in the summer.”

Summer courses also give students the opportunity to catch up on credit hours. Alex Chase, junior in nutrition and health, is currently taking Principles of Biology.

“I’m taking it now to get it out of the way,” Chase said. “I’m not as busy during the summer as I am during the school year.”

With a less hectic schedule, taking harder classes during the summer can help students focus on passing. Pentz said she reminisces on her college days and admits that she “wouldn’t have gotten through college in four years without taking summer classes.”

Summer courses are generally smaller, allowing professors to spend more individual attention on the students.

“Teachers always seem super busy during the school year,” Chase said. “During the summer, they give students more one-on-one attention.”

This attention can make all the difference when taking a challenging course. Chase said she is glad she decided to take her biology class during the summer and recommends it to other students.

John Garetson, Wabash Cannon Bowl manager and bowling instructor, began teaching bowling during the summer to “give students on our campus the opportunity to learn about the lifetime sport of bowling.” His students learn bowling techniques and how to manually keep score. He adds that in the summer heat, “it’s a great ‘cool’ place to be and thing to do.”

Taking classes during the summer helps students focus on harder classes, catch up on credit hours and allows them to take classes they normally wouldn’t be able to take during the school year. Students and teachers alike recommend that students take advantage of summer courses.

“It’s worth it to pick up summer courses here and there, (rather) than adding an extra year of schooling,” Pentz said.