Taking Winter Session Courses

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June 1st, 2009

Want to earn up to four college credits in as little as three weeks? You might want to check out the winter session at your university. While not every college offers a winter session, more and more colleges and universities are adding them and expanding their winter courses. As high-demand courses get filled to capacity during the fall and spring semesters, colleges offer winter classes to better serve their students by providing more scheduling options.

Winter courses are offered during the short span of time between the end of fall semester and the beginning of the spring semester. Because the courses are offered in such a brief timeframe, they are especially intensive and students are often not permitted to miss a single class, lest they miss the equivalent of two or more weeks’ worth of class. If you’ve ever taken a summer session class, you will be familiar with intensive courses.

Taking winter session courses not only helps students complete certain classes within a shorter timeframe, but enrolling can also help students meet credit requirements for graduation more quickly. Winter session courses can also help keep you on track in your sequence to graduation. For instance, if you couldn’t get into a class in the fall that served as a prerequisite for an upper-level course in the spring, you may be able to take the class intensively in the winter.

While on the surface it seems annoying to have to sit in a classroom for three or more hours every day of the week, you’d be surprised how much you retain by being exposed to the material in depth day after day. Students who take winter courses often find that they do better on quizzes and exams and earn higher overall grades in the course because there are no gaps in which to forget important information.

Finally, intensive study during winter session can be just what you need to truly focus on a particular course you’re really interested in. Since you won’t be taking anything other than the one winter course, you can focus your energies entirely on getting everything you can out of the course. This helps you become more engaged in class than you might be during a fall or spring semester when you could be taking between 12 and 18 hours at once.

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