Five reasons to use summer semester

Summer Reading For most of my life I lived in extremely cold and snowy locations, so the lure of summer was powerful. My family was large and had limited resources so we didn't travel or vacation : we just learned to make the best out of whatever season we happened to be in (which was usually winter). Summer meant warmth and sunshine and lazy days off from school, and we looked forward to it with a vengeance. Even in higher education we kicked back in the summer. At both 2-year and 4-year institutions the summer session was shorter with limited course offerings and a kind of kick-back mentality. The community colleges where I worked in the Chicago area catered to four-year students who were home working for the summer and wanted to take a course or two at their local community colleges. But historically we haven't really pushed our continuing students to take advantage of summer, and I think that needs to change. We work year-round, we raise our families year-round and it's time to go to college year-round. Here's why:

  • You will get done more quickly. If you are a full-time student taking 12 hours per semester and add 6 more in the summer, you can complete a 60 hour associate degree in two years. If you are part-time and taking 6 hours each semester, by using summer you can complete a 60 hour associate degree in 3 ½ years instead of 5. And of course, you could complete a certificate even more quickly. Along the way you will save time and money.
  • You can concentrate on just one or two courses. If you have been juggling three or more courses each semester, it can be a nice change of pace to be able to focus for a shorter time (10 weeks) on just one or two subjects. And if you struggled in a course and need to retake it, summer is the time.
  • You might be able to receive a summer scholarship. We want CCA students to attend in the summer because we know that students who maintain continuous enrollment have a better chance of completing a certificate or degree. We are looking into options to help you afford summer classes so watch for more information this spring.
  • You will maintain your momentum and continue to make progress toward your academic goals. We lose students from fall to fall and we're not sure why, but we do know that we are less apt to lose you if you keep taking classes year-round.
  • You can still enjoy your summer. Summer session is only 10 weeks long so you will still have some time off. You aren't losing a summer vacation; you are gaining credit hours and continuing to make valuable progress toward achieving your academic goals. It is all about getting to the finish line, and attending during the summer will help you do that.

It's still Colorado, so if you miss that beautiful summer day because you are studying or in class, don't worry, it will show up again at some point in every other season. Use summer and keep moving ahead with your education and your life: you won't regret it.

Find your summer classes now so you don't lose another minute. 

About the author

Profile picture for user Betsy Oudenhoven

Dr. Betsy Oudenhoven assumed duties as president of the college in December 2013 after a lengthy list of accomplishments as VP of Student Affairs. Prior to joining CCA, she served in higher education in varied roles such as assistant director, manager, director, dean, and vice president, dating back to 1979. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education from Loyola University in Chicago, a Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and a BS in Psychology from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.

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