Intercession courses give students flexibility when scheduling classes

Tevin Arrington



Registering for classes and being able to fit them all into one semester schedule can sometimes be a challenge for students. There might be a special topics class that a student is interested in, but it interferes with the other classes being taken that semester.


The W has created a way to provide students with more schedule flexibility. The W now offers an addition to the fall, spring and summer semesters through intersession courses.


These courses are intensive in the sense that they are only two weeks long. Within that timeframe, students will attend class from Monday to Friday for three and a half hours each day with the possibility of having at least one Saturday class. Students are only able to take on one intersession class during the periods that they are offered.


Dr. Martin Hatton, associate vice president for academic affairs, said students should take advantage of these classes.


“I think the goal is always to continue to innovate with our programing, and this is just a fantastic opportunity for us to put some topics out there that students may have an interest in that just simply have not shown up in our regular course rotation,” said Dr. Hatton.


One of the things Hatton believes is great about offering this new alternative is that it provides benefits for both students and faculty. Students are able to obtain up to four credit hours in this timeframe. For professors, he sees this as an opportunity for them to test out student interest levels in these topics with the hope that they could eventually be added to regular course offerings.


There have been two intersession periods, the first being in May and the second one in August.


Dr. Barry Smith, an associate professor of communication and chair of the department, taught an intersession class in August called “The 50 Years of Dr. Who.” For this course, Smith and his students set out to explore the popular BBC television series “Dr. Who.”


According to Smith, many of the students who enrolled in the class were already interested in the subject matter, which made the class go quickly.


 “I was a little concerned about starting every day at 9 a.m., but attendance was good, people showed up, they were attentive, and it went well. It was a positive experience,” he said.


The next intersession term will be in January 2015. Dr. Van Roberts, associate professor of communication, plans to teach a class that will focus on the James Bond franchise. Similar to Smith’s “50 years of Dr. Who,” the purpose of the class is to see how Bond has adapted over the course of time.


“I think it’s going to be a fun class, and I know I am going to have fun doing it,” Roberts said.

He admits that he sees the intersession term as a challenge, because he will have to work an entire course load in within the two-week time frame, but said he is excited to take on the task and hopes that students are, too.