|Summer school attendance is a growing trend among U.S. students. In New York, the nation’s largest school district, it is expected that 32 percent of public school students will attend summer school, equating to more than 300,000 students. The same trend appears in universities and community colleges, too. Many have reported record-breaking summer enrollment numbers in recent years.School administrators suggest a number of possibilities for this jump in enrollment: the economy, increased competition among students, the threat of repeating a grade, tuition costs…the list goes on. Regardless of the reason, there are pros and cons to attending summer school, and those reasons should be discussed with students to ensure a decision that leads to success. Below are some pros and cons to summer school to share with students during summer enrollment.|
There are many benefits to summer school that can help students forge ahead. These include:
- Smaller class sizes: Summer school classes tend to have fewer students. This allows for more individualized attention and the opportunity for teacher/student interaction. If you are aware that a student struggles in a certain subject or area, you may want to suggest summer school to provide the one-on-one focus they may need for success. Promote this valuable benefit with flyers and banners in guidance counselor offices, at after-school tutoring programs and in study halls.
- Complete general coursework: Summer can be a great time to knock out prerequisites and general education requirements. Getting these courses out of the way during summer school frees up time for students to focus on core curriculum or major-related courses during the school year. Promote these basic classes and prerequisites as summer course options at registration events and orientations with giveaways, such as a Swanky Pen and lip balm. Don’t forget to imprint them with the URL for your summer class offerings.
- Decreased class loads: Taking courses during the summer can also lessen the load during the regular school year, affording students free time to study, add an internship or catch up on R&R. Imprint the message “Forge ahead with summer school” on a sports backpack and load it with class literature, a Soda Can Travel Tumbler, some Microwave Popcorn and a sweat treat. These summer-school survival kits can be given out to anyone inquiring about summer classes.
Of course, with the pros come the cons. Summer school isn’t for everyone. Here are some reasons why:
- Accelerated pace: The condensed, accelerated pace that many summer courses follow can prove difficult for some students. To be successful, students should be aware that summer courses generally meet multiple hours a day, five days a week, and that they have daily homework.
- Less variety: During the regular school year, students may have a larger variety of class options to fulfill particular requirements. In summer school, this isn’t always the case—students will likely be limited to a few class choices.
- No summer break: Some may say that summer school keeps students in the rhythm of going to class, studying and learning. Others would argue that summer is the perfect time for a break. If you have students who are feeling the burn, summer school may not be for them.
The benefits of summer school can be great. However, it is important to discuss all angles with students as they contemplate their course schedules. Providing a balanced view of both the pros and cons can help students make decisions that lead them to success, regardless of the season.
Durand, Maria F. “More Students Forced to Take Summer School.” ABC News. ABC News Network, n.d. Web. Retrieved 14 Jan. 2014.
Grasgreen, Allie. “Trendless Summer | Inside Higher Ed.” Trendless Summer | Inside Higher Ed. N.p., 17 June 2011. Web. Retrieved 14 Jan. 2014.
“Thinking About Summer School? Pros and Cons.” U.S. News University Directory. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 14 Jan. 2014.
Allan, Laura. “The Pros and Cons of Taking Summer Classes.” Education-Portal.com. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 14 Jan. 2014.