Jan 27, 2020

Courses offered during winter break

In an effort to make up for courses that were dropped this fall, California State University, Fresno will offer intersession courses for the first time in eight years.

According to university officials, from Jan. 5-20, students will have the opportunity to take academic courses and earn resident credits.

Cyndy Trent, director of the extensions program and intersession coordinator, said that purpose of the winter intersession is two-fold.

“The first purpose is to accelerate the academic programs,” Trent said. “It allows students another academic term to take a course. The second purpose is to aid the students who had their classes removed by budget cuts.”

On Monday Oct. 12, classes offered through the program will be made available to the public. Official registration does not start until Oct. 26. Registration ends on the Dec. 1. There will be a total of 44 courses offered, according to Trent.

Fresno State is encouraging faculty to offer general education classes, both upper and lower division levels, Trent said.

Faculty member of the theatre arts department, Leslie Martin, said she was asked to teach a drama 62 course this winter.

“I was approached by the chair of our department to teach the class,” Martin said. “I decided to teach the course because, to be honest, I am being laid off and I really need the money.”

Trent also said that registration fees must be paid immediately. Each unit will cost $286, according to Trent.

“Paying the registration fee or the tuition holds a students space in the class,” Trent said. “If a student does not [pay], they will be dropped from the course. A student must pay within 24 hours of registering for the class.”

Trent also said the price of the course depends on how many units of credit you will receive. The number of units of credit is determined by the number of hours spent in the class. For one unit of credit, 15 contact hours of time must be spent in class.

A student can earn up to four units of credit, which would require a total of 60 contact hours. Four units is the maximum number of units a student can take during an intersession time period.

Since the intersession time period is only three weeks long, instructors must adapt their curriculum to accommodate the shorter instruction period.

Martin feels changing the curriculum will be difficult.

“I am still trying to figure out how to change the curriculum,” Martin said. “I will probably use only one movie to illustrate more than one topic, instead of using a film for each topic I discuss.”

Howard Hendrix, a Fresno State instructor of Literature, feels that the schedule for each intersession course will constitute enough time to fit all of the required material in.

“The curriculum is necessarily intense, given that it’s several hours a day, several days a week, for several weeks,” Hendrix said in an e-mail interview with the Collegian. “In that way I found I am able to cover an amount of course material roughly equivalent to a semester worth of class.”

Although 44 courses are offered, all of the courses may not remain available. Trent said there are specific guidelines that need to be met for a course to remain on the winter intercession schedule.

“There must be a minimum of 15 students per class or the class can be cut,” Trent said. “The minimum number of students is based on our budget because we receive no money from the state. Intersession is only supported by the fees paid for each class.”

An instructor’s payment for intercession courses is based on how many students are enrolled for their class, according to the policy.

Additionally, each instructor must decide whether to maintain or cut the class by Dec. 4. If less than 15 students are enrolled in a class, the instructor must decide if they want to still teach the course or if they want to cut it.

If a course is cut from the curriculum, Trent said the students that registered and paid for the course are eligible for a full refund of their money.

“We fully expect the winter intersession to be a success and are moving ahead with plans for a May through June intersession,” Trent said. “We have already received several course proposals for a spring intersession.”

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