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Summer at RIT

March 13, 2015

Summers Cool at RIT

As you may be aware, we have been working diligently to make a more concerted and strategic approach to building our academic summer program. The intent of offering summer courses is rather simple: meet student demand. More specifically, here are the reasons we need to improve our summer course offerings:

  • Offer students opportunities for on-time or early graduation;
  • Offer multiple entry points for 1st year or transfer students;
  • Offer courses of sufficient student demand (because we want to promote the curiosity of learning);
  • Offer courses to help students stay or get back on track with their program of study;
  • Offer courses for our students who go on co-op or an internship during the fall or spring;
  • Generate revenue to cover expenses and re-invest in summer offerings;
  • Allow faculty to explore new deliveries of teaching, the use of technology, new course ideas, interdisciplinary teaching; and
  • Provide opportunity for faculty to supplement their yearly income.

Led by Dr. J. Fernando Naveda, director of the Office of Intersession and Summer, here are some of the changes and activities that have taken place:

  • Best-practices from other universities have been collected and will continue to help us shape our summer strategy going forward;
  • Data indicates that there are courses of exceptionally high student demand that we are not offering in the summer; Fernando has been sharing this information with the deans to generate new courses;
  • Data also indicates that each year RIT students transfer a significant number of credits earned in summer at other schools;
  • In response to student and advisor requests, starting this academic year, we posted our summer schedule in late October and opened summer enrollments in mid-February - this will allow students to both plan their summer more effectively and strategize their co-op and internship options;
  • We have implemented separate accounting procedures for the summer program so that we can better track our course delivery expenses;
  • We continue to work with the budget office to identify new models that will incentivize departments to offer summer courses and to identify a new pricing structure to make taking courses at RIT attractive to students;
  • Enrollment data shows that there is a strong student preference for online summer courses; therefore, working with the ILI, we have provided course development funds to faculty in order to increase the number and variety of online summer courses; and
  • We are about to launch an aggressive summer program marketing campaign. 

With these changes and growing excitement, I fully expect to see robust enrollments for our summer and, more importantly, increased fulfillment of meeting student demand.