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Summer classes provide catch-up opportunities

By Priscilla Lopez | Pulse Staff Reporter

Summer Classes

Most students don’t know what it takes to complete an associate’s degree, the half-way point to a bachelor’s, in two years.

To earn your associate’s degree in four 16-week semesters (two academic years), you must take five courses (15 hours) per semester. Many students only take four courses (12 hours) per semester, so to make up for what they didn’t take in fall or spring, students are able to pick up one course during Maymester, a 3-week semester. Students are also able to take two courses (6 hours) in Summer I, a 6-week session or 8-week session, or up to two courses (6-hours) in Summer II, a 6-week session.

In May and summers semesters, students complete classes in a shorter time period. Classes are usually Monday through Thursday and are given in a very fast pace. Professors teach you the material from a normal semester and compress it into a shorter time period.

“We highly recommend for students to take classes during these semesters because although they are a little more rigorous and fast paced, it helps them stick to graduating faster,” said Anthony Perez, a recruiter/adviser with the Palo Alto College Welcome Center. “We also suggest Maymester and summer to students who need developmental courses, because it helps them get back on track before the spring and fall semesters.”

Students think that developmental courses are going to make them take longer to complete their associate’s degree, but Maymester and summer sessions are the perfect opportunities knock out developmental courses. Students can easily be back on track by the time fall or spring comes around. Students who need extra classes to graduate are also encouraged to take Maymester and summer courses.

“Students are often able to graduate and participate in the commencement ceremony because they are able to take the classes they’re lacking during the May or summer semesters,” said Katherine Beaumont, coordinator for Scholarships/Alumni Services with the Center for Academic Transitions. “Students are only allowed to lack two classes to participate in the (May) graduation ceremony,” she said. Beaumont explained that students will receive their diplomas upon successful completion of the necessary courses.

Many students think that the three months in between spring and fall are too long of a break.

“I liked knowing that I’m still being productive during summer and getting credits out of the way,” said Joseph Vara, a freshman Business Administration major at Palo Alto College. “I want to complete my degree as soon as possible, and summer and Maymester have helped me get closer to completing.”

Maymester and summer registration began on April 9. The registration deadline for Maymester is May 12. Summer I’s registration deadline is June 2, and Summer II is July 7. If you are interested in registering for Maymester or summer, go to Click on Academics then click on Academic Calendar.