[Fresh] Summer courses

John Immerwahr (john.immerwahr@villanova.edu)
Mon, 31 Jan 2000 10:41:19 -0500

This is a posting from Fresh@News, Villanova's e-mail news service for
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Note: In light of the Seton Hall tragedy, weve had some requests to
send out information on fire safety. Residence Life is preparing some
materials for Fresh@News and we hope to send them to you by next week.

We also wanted to inform parents and friends of the availability of
hotel facilities at the newly opened Villanova Conference Center.
Villanova recently purchased and renovated a conference center facility
just a mile or two from campus. The center also has hotel facilities,
and when the rooms are not being used for conferences they are open to
parents and other visitors to the area. The hardworking staff of
Fresh@News has been to the conference center several times and can
report that the setting is lovely and the rooms are very nice indeed.
For further information, call 610/523-1776. A list of accomodations in
the area, with websites, is available on the parents web site at:

Interview with Dr. Robert Stokes, Associate Dean for Part-time Studies
and University Outreach.

Summer courses at Villanova University

Fresh@News: Most of the parents and friends of the class of 2003 know a
bit about Villanova's programs in the fall and spring. What about the
summer programs? Are they relevant to the class as well?

Dr. Stokes: Villanova's undergraduate program is designed so that
everything a student needs can be completed during the fall and spring
terms, and many of our students graduate without ever taking a summer
course. But sometimes students switch majors or programs, which also
puts them a little behind where they should be as far as the number of
courses they have taken. In other cases students get behind because
they have dropped or failed a course during the year. These students
usually get themselves caught up by taking an extra course or two in the
summer. Some students also take a few summer courses so they can
lighten their load during the fall or spring.

Fresh@News: What is the summer program like?

Dr. Stokes: Each summer we offer a mix of about 270 undergraduate
courses, spanning all of our undergraduate colleges. Generally, students
say that they enjoy the summer courses. The classes are usually small
and everyone is a bit more relaxed. Students and faculty members really
get to know each other.

Fresh@News. Suppose my son or daughter needs to take some extra courses,
but also needs to save money by living at home and working during the

Dr. Stokes: This is a common concern. We have tried to help solve this
problem by developing our summer distance learning program. These are
courses which students can take over the Internet during the summer.
The advantage is that the student can live at home and take a Villanova
course taught by a Villanova faculty member. Since these are full
Villanova courses, students don't have to worry about whether the
credits will transfer or not. Students will need to have access to a
computer and an Internet provider (such as AOL). The courses use the
web, e-mail, chat-rooms, and a number of other recent developments in
educational technology.

Fresh@News: Suppose parents have a high school student at home who wants
a taste of college work. Would these courses be appropriate for high
school students?

Dr. Stokes: Our distance learning classes are also open to qualified
high school students, so if you have a high school age student at home
he or she might want to get a head start on college by taking a college
level course. We'd be happy to see that child apply to Villanova too,
but the course should be transferable to virtually any other university.

Fresh@News: What are some of the distance courses we will be offering
this summer?

Dr. Stokes: This coming year we'll be offering 19 summer distance
education courses, including organizational psychology, biology, nursing
and management information systems. The complete list of courses is
available at WWW.parttime.villanova.edu

Fresh@News: How do the students like these courses? Don't they miss the
connection with the faculty member?

Dr. Stokes: At Villanova we believe in small classes with a lot of
personal contact between faculty members and students, and we try to
preserve this in our distance education classes. Usually the class
sizes are small (20 or under), and, surprisingly, the students get to
know each other quite well. We find that some students say they
participate more in class discussions in a distance education class than
they do in a regular class. Even when they don't ever see each other in
person, the students can get to know each other very well. I taught a
distance education psychology course this past summer. The students
were extremely enthusiastic about the course. At the end of the summer,
they decided to arrange a dinner party so they could get to meet each
other face to face.

Fresh@News: Do you expect that our students will also be doing distance
education courses during the fall and spring?

Dr. Stokes: I don't think so. At Villanova, we are mostly interested in
distance education as a service to part-time students, summer school
students, and adult learners, but for our full-time undergraduates, our
main emphasis is on in-class education. Of course many of our fall and
winter courses do integrate the latest educational technologies, and
make heavy use of computers and the Internet. We increasingly rely on
some of the same technologies used by distance education courses, but we
also want to maintain the face-to-face element.

Fresh@News: What about the Summer Business Institute? What is that all

Dr. Stokes. We find that many of our non business students also want to
get some business background. We have a regular business minor which
is open to all Villanova students (except those who are already in our
College of Commerce and Finance), and many students take advantage of
it. But we also find that some students are so busy in the fall and
spring that they cannot fit in the business courses. Other students
only get interested in business when they are closer to graduation and
find that they no longer have time to complete a business minor. To
help these students we created the Summer Business Institute. It is an
intensive eight week exposure to business approaches and methods.
Students get an introduction to accounting, marketing, economics,
management, and advertising. It is like basic training in the
military. It is extremely intense, and students learn a great deal very
quickly. Most of these students are upper division students rather
than freshmen, so this is something for parents to keep in mind for a
year or two down the road, not so much for this summer.

Fresh@News: What advice do you have for parents of members of the class
of 2003?

Dr. Stokes: As long as everything is proceeding normally, parents don't
need to be too concerned about summer programs, and the main energy
should be making sure that students get interesting and challenging
summer jobs. (My former work was in Career Counseling, so I know how
valuable summer jobs can be in building a resume). Summer courses become
important when the student makes a change in program, drops a course, or
otherwise gets behind, or when the student suddenly gets interested in a
career that requires a business background or other courses that were
not taken during the regular program. At that point, you want to make
sure that you and your student are aware of Villanova's summer programs,
on campus, in distance education, and in summer institutes. Some parents
may also be interested in taking distance education courses
themselves. These courses are designed for part-time students and
working people, so they may be of interest to parents as well.

At any rate, the place to go for information is
www.parttime.villanova.edu about summer session classes including
distance education classes (or call 610-519-4300).

John Immerwahr
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Villanova University
Villanova, PA 19085-1699
Tel: 610/519-4522
Email: John.Immerwahr@villanova.edu

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