SUNY Oswego’s May Term to Offer New Learning Option

OSWEGO — In its continued drive to deliver coursework in ways that work best for students, SUNY Oswego will pilot an intensive two-week May Term immediately after the 2010 spring semester.

The trial effort will run May 17 to 28 with five or six courses to gauge interest and how well such intensive courses would work.

“There probably is a substantial number of students who would be willing to stay two weeks but may not be willing to stay four,” said Tom Ingram, director of academic programs for extended learning. “We’ve heard from students who would like to go back to classes right after finals.”

The college usually allows a week between commencement and the beginning of three-week blocks of summer sessions.

Many students have leases that run through the end of May and could thus take advantage of these two weeks before moving home to start summer jobs or other plans.

“We looked at what other schools do to meet student needs, and we talked to other colleges who have done two-week courses with some success,” said Yvonne Petrella, dean of extended learning.

“This could be ideal for the student who needs one course to graduate or before taking a position,” Petrella added.

They said listening to students played a key role in this pilot project. “We’re always looking for ways to serve our students’ needs and this is one thing we’ve discussed,” Ingram said.

The initial pilot will allow administrators to see “how it works, how students respond, how to make it successful and whether to continue with the option the following year,” Petrella said.

They stressed that regular summer sessions will continue as always, with the first session beginning May 24.

Winter Session hot

The college does have successful models, such as the upcoming Winter Session, to show that condensed learning done correctly can find an audience, administrators said. Ingram noted that some courses have already closed for the upcoming Jan. 4 to 22 winter term.

One difference with Winter Session is that many courses are offered online, which counters Oswego’s notorious January weather.

For the new May Term, Petrella said she expects all offerings to be traditional face-to-face classes, most likely general education or popular upper-division courses.