Administration cuts several summer courses

Imagine Guilford College during the summer of 2003 with over 700 students attending classes. Now, 13 years later, the scene is vastly different with 492 students enrolled last summer and 262 of them only enrolled in evening courses.

In 2003, Guilford expanded the summer school program and worked to accommodate the high number of students interested. In contrast, Guilford’s administration has recently decided to cut a portion of the summer school program for this summer.

“For years, the second five-week section of summer school has had fewer courses offered,” said Registrar and Director of Summer School Norma Middleton. “It appeared the students were not interested in taking the second five-week session, so after discussion we decided to try out not offering the second five-week section with the exception of sequence courses.”

This probably will not come as a surprise, but administration has not spoken to us concerning the cut from a full-term summer to a half-term summer for classes.”

— Jeffery Ray, CCE student government association treasurer

Middleton has been part of Guilford’s administration since 2001, but only acquired the director of summer school position this academic year, putting her at the forefront of this decision. The program change entails cutting the second five-week session while leaving intact the first five-week and 10-week night sessions. Sequence courses will still be available to students who wish to complete required dual courses. Courses that are generally taught in two parts for credit, such as Chemistry 111 and 112 and Spanish 101 and 102 will still be offered during the second five-week session period.

“It has to do with where student interest is, and there just wasn’t much interest,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Beth Rushing. “One of the things that are very hard to do is to try to have classes (and) then get maybe four people enrolled. Then, to have to cancel it.”

According to Rushing, the program lacks stability and a majority of that has to do with enrollment inconsistencies between the two five-week sessions. Summer of 2015 had only 98 students enrolled in the second five-week session compared to the almost 300 enrolled in the first five-week session.

“When I worked with students who were registering for summer school, nine out of ten times they were interested in the first five weeks or the 10 weeks,” said First Year Experience Interim Director Barbara Boyette. “I’ve maybe only had one student who has been interested in the second five-week session, so, overall, it should only be a small population affected.”

However small the population, some students are being affected.

“I don’t foresee any negative impact on our program or students as a result of this change,” said Assistant Director of Student Support Rob Overman ’08. “To me, it is a rational and logical decision. The second five-week summer school session has historically been our lowest-enrolled session, so it makes sense to eliminate that session and funnel more students into the first five-week and 10-week sessions.”

This opinion is shared amongst the administration, but the group that will be most affected has an alternate view. CCE students comprise the majority of the students taking summer school courses, making up 283 of the 492 students enrolled last summer.

“This probably will not come as a surprise, but administration has not spoken to us concerning the cut from a full-term summer to a half- term summer for classes,” said CCE Student Government Association Treasurer Jeffery Ray. “We have just become aware and are not happy over the effort of Guilford College to inadvertently remove adult students from the campus they helped to build.”

Yet the administration seems to be welcome to the student’s voices and insights.

“If there are any negative backlashes, I hope the students will speak up about it and if (the administration) needs to put it back, we will put it back,” said Middleton. “If there is something the students are not happy about, we have an open door.”

Do you agree with the decision to remove the second five-week session of the summer semester?

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