This past summer Southeastern modified its Summer Smart programming to reflect later class start times, further adapting to the requirements and preferences of today’s students.
Now with course offerings at 8 a.m. or later, Summer Smart will continue to benefit students by reducing the net cost for a three-credit course to less than $900 and expanding high demand offerings with an increased number of online and hybrid courses. These hybrid courses combine face-to-face and online instruction for students, which is embraced by traditional and non-traditional students alike who are able to schedule their time around fewer physical trips to campus.
The changes in the summer semester were implemented to help students advance progress toward their degrees in a timelier manner, while reaping significant financial savings, said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tena Golding. The idea of starting summer classes 30 minutes later came from focus groups and individual discussions with students, she said.
“Many students felt 7:30 a.m. was just too early, especially in the summer, and wondered why the first class could not start at 8 a.m., the same time as regular semesters,” she said. “In addition, there was a concern for the students with childcare needs. It was difficult to get children to daycare and be on time for a 7:30 a.m. class. In some cases, students were paying an extra cost for early arrival at daycare.”
Before officially making the change, former Student Government Association (SGA) President Richard Davis Jr. worked with SGA to survey students during his tenure. The results confirmed that students overwhelmingly agreed with the time change. “When this potential change was brought to my attention, I worked with the SGA to create a survey that went out to various student groups,” said Davis. “Out of the 80 students who completed the survey, 96 percent indicated they agreed with changing the class start time for the summer semester from 7:30 to 8 a.m. I personally believe that this change will be welcomed by most students as they choose to continue their studies while being Summer Smart.”
Since Summer Smart’s inception in 2017, summer enrollment has been on the rise, said Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management Kay Maurin. Last year the program enrolled 3,757 students. “With offering a $300 Summer Smart scholarship for undergraduates, enrollment grew by 7 percent the first year and 6 percent the following year, equating to a 13 percent increase over a two-year period,” she said.
Summer Smart savings result in reduced net cost of attendance for typical undergraduate students, and terms range from four to eight weeks.