January 21, 2019  

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Students Are Choosing Summer School to Get Ahead

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College students in today’s world are busier than ever. Between work, friends, family, and community obligations, students today are always looking for a way to maximize their time. 

One way students at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) can manage their time is by using summer school to their advantage. Both undergraduate and graduate students can enroll in summer classes to help them stay on track to graduation and perform at their academic best.  

For current undergraduate students, summer can be the perfect time to take courses that might require extra attention and study time, according to Amy Chasteen Miller, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. “Students often will choose to take only one or two classes in the summer,” states Miller, “and focus on those subjects that may be tougher for them.”  With a lighter semester load and often smaller classes, students can focus on those classes and reduce their stress for the upcoming semesters.

For graduate students, summer is a great time to fulfill requirements or explore a graduate minor. Many graduate students have the option to earn a minor along with their masters or doctoral degree, which can be a good opportunity for them, according to Miller.  “Graduate minors can distinguish students by highlighting their unique interests,” states Miller, potentially helping to expand their employment opportunities.”

Graduate certificate programs are an additional way students can stand out when applying for a job. For example, Miller notes that graduating with an MBA opens many career opportunities, particularly when combined with additional certifications. “Earning our online certificate program in sport security management,” explains Miller, “Is a good example of how a graduate certificate can highlight the unique strengths of our graduates in future job applicant pools.”  

Southern Miss offers numerous ways to get in those summer courses during the short weeks of summer, including half-summer courses and full summer courses, both in-person and online. In addition, students can take three-week intersession courses in both May and August to get even more credits completed, bringing them closer to graduation.

Dr. Tom Hutchinson, Director of the Office of Online Learning at USM, says online classes can offer the best of both worlds for students looking to get ahead by taking summer classes. “Students in online classes can complete required coursework around their busy schedules,” explains Hutchinson, “allowing them to go home, work and travel while still meet their educational goals.”

Miller says the faculty and staff at USM are ready and willing to help students find a summer class that will help them thrive. “Current students should talk now with their advisors,” says Miller, “and we can help them find the best classes to meet their needs and stay on track to graduation.” Students interested in applying to USM for summer coursework should contact the Office of Admissions (admissions@usm.edu). “We are excited about expanding our summer course opportunities for students so that we can help more students meet their academic goals and graduate on time,” says Miller.