Want to Catch Up or Get Ahead? Consider Wintermester

If you're one of those students who, over the course of winter break, find themselves itching to get back to the books, you're in luck.

Wintermester is coming to Radford University.

What is Wintermester? It's a five-week mini-semester tucked in between the fall and spring semesters.

Classes will begin Dec. 18 and run through Jan. 15. Registration is open now for a limited number of classes in art, art history, economics, finance, history, religion, core curriculum, and information science and technology. But you'd better act now. Wintermester at RU is already very popular.

Bill Kennan, vice provost for academic affairs, helped bring Wintermester to Radford University. He sees it as an excellent opportunity for students who want to catch up or move forward quickly in their studies.

"Two immediate and obvious groups of students should take Wintermester classes," Kennan said. "First are those who get a little behind and want to retake a course and work on their GPA. This gives them an opportunity to go home over winter break and do some solid work online with one of our professors and get themselves in a better place academically."

Kennan said Wintermester courses are also excellent for students who want to move more quickly toward graduation or take courses that are prerequisites for classes they hope to take in the spring semester.

"I've talked with some of our colleagues, and they actually have quite a bit of interest from students who are home over winter break and want to get ahead. They'll take the online Wintermester offerings to do just that," Kennan said.

This year's Wintermester will be the first such offering at Radford University, and it is already generating strong interest with students.

"Right now, all but two classes are full with a maximum capacity of 25," said Registrar Matthew Brunner. Registration remains open until Dec. 19 at 4 p.m.

The popularity of Wintermester doesn't surprise Kennan, who wanted to start the program at RU after speaking with colleagues at other colleges and universities that had successfully implemented similar offerings.

"The students have spoken by enrolling in the classes," Kennan said. "The enrollment just kept going up and up and up throughout the summer. The response has been positive. I've heard a lot of students talking about Wintermester."

As popularity and demand increase, so will the number of course offerings, Kennan explained. However, the program will not expand just for the sake of offering more online courses.

"We will grow in a measured and intentional way. That's our thinking about summer school and all our online courses," Kennan said. "We want to grow into online learning where it makes sense. We don't want to be putting online learning out there just for the heck of it. There's plenty of that out there. We want these courses to really tie in and accentuate the academics we want to emphasize here at Radford University."

Oct 9, 2012
Chad Osborne
(540) 831-7769