LIMA — Deeming the move of an eight-week summer class offering to early June from early May a success, Rhodes State College trustees voted to continue to offer the classes for the next three summers.
Rhodes State College President Debra McCurdy said the new calendar adopted by the board of trustees will permit the college to do more outreach to high schools and to be more attractive to high school students and graduates because “when they finish school at the end of spring as we open up for the summer that our calendar will coincide with their departure from high school.”
“They get to earn college credit and this gives them an early start on their collegiate journey as well and that makes sense to us as well,” McCurdy said. “Some of the students were former postsecondary option students and they are continuing and some are graduating high school students who are getting an early jump into entering college.
“When you think about a vision of education and college education, it is ensuring that every student leaving high school can come out with a college course,” the college president said. “By moving our calendar and accommodating all of our demographics really responds to that need and really their opportunity to take courses in the summer.”
Moving one of four calendars of class offerings fits into the vision of Rhodes State College and students entering college for the first time.
The college offers five-week, eight-week, 10-week and 12-week sessions during the summer. Woodfield said they must start all course-work calendars starting in May, except the eight-week offering, because they needed to end in time for the fall semester. The five-week course must be completed in June because a second 5-week offering starts in July.
She said there is a misconception that high school graduates want to take the summer off and relax, but they had 92 high school graduates take courses last summer.
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Richard Woodfield and Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Cynthia Spiers developed the pilot program last summer when they reviewed demographics and realized they were missing high school students and graduates.
Woodfield said they also felt the eight-week offering was the best one to move because it matched the pace of classroom lecture and studying with which the high school student was more familiar.
Rhodes State College also offered scholarships to entice students to take courses. Some of the postsecondary option students and high school graduates were given $500 to $600 scholarships and free books toward a general-education couse. In some cases, they asked parents or students to match the program so if they paid for one course then the school would pay for one course.
“This pilot program turned out to be very positive for us and very positive for the students as well,” McCurdy said. “We will stay with this calendar because it doesn’t make sense the other way. When we moved to semesters, it may have been something we just missed and when we realized there was an entire market we just missed that we should be including then we just moved the calendar and it makes all the sense in the world.”