Daily Titan | Honors Program to offer intersession courses

Author: Roberto Muniz

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The University Honors Program will offer its first intersession course, 101B, during session B from Jan. 3 through Jan. 20.

There are two reasons for why the intersession course had not been offered before, according to Sandra Perez, director of the University Honors Program.

“One is tradition, honors courses have traditionally only been offered in the fall and spring,” Perez said. “The other piece is absolutely funding.”

The University Honors Program is transitioning from a traditional approach of only fall and spring classes to doing more to allow its students to achieve graduation at the time that they choose.

When Perez first came to the University Honors Program, she said that she heard its offerings were difficult for certain majors; in particular, to engineering and art major students.

Honors students are concerned with graduating on time, and by providing them with an intersession course, it allows students to move on to graduation quicker, Perez said.

“One of the goals (aligns) with the university goal to support our students in graduating as soon as they would like to or able to,” Perez said.

Offering an intersession course extends the same flexibility to honors students as the overall university offers, Perez said.

The planning process to get an intersession started begins in May when the University of Extended Education (UEE) reaches out to each departments’ chairs and deans, according to Karen McKinley, director of Summer Session, Intersession and Special Session Classes.

Beginning this past August, the UEE started the process of scheduling into Titan Online, McKinley said.

McKinley said the process of getting an intersession course begins with an academic department scheduling the intersession classes they want.

Michelle Hernandez, program analyst/specialist for Summer Session, Intersession and Special Session classes, said she’s a facilitator of the schedule and that all departments send her the proposed schedules.

Hernandez’s job include double checking all the classes scheduled are correct.

According to McKinley, there can be concerns when creating an intersession course, such as making sure there’s enough time in the session to teach the course and provide students a good learning experience.

“I’ve been overseeing intersession for many years and I don’t think we’ve ever done an honors class,” McKinley said.

The course is expected to accept about 15 students which is a common cap in honors classes.

“I’m committed to making changes that better serve honors students and I think this is one of them, and there shall be more to come,” Perez said.

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