Campus summer programming broadens

While most of the University’s student body typically vacates campus as soon as spring semester ends, more than 1,000 undergraduates and non-Yale students returned to the classroom this summer for Yale Summer Session.

The Yale Summer Session program — which encompasses all courses offered through Yale during the months of June and July, including summer language programs, study abroad programs and online courses — drew roughly the same number of students as it has in previous years. Summer Session shared Yale’s campus with the English Language Institute, a summer program crafted specifically for international students that drew an additional 214 students to campus, and the Yale Writers’ Conference, which brought 250 adults to Yale for an intensive creative writing program. Yale Summer Session expanded the number of online courses offered, and it added the Freshman Scholars at Yale summer bridge program to be a part of the summer academic scene.

William Whobrey, assistant dean of Yale College and dean of Yale Summer Session, said the University is always looking for ways to expand its summer programming, though it still focuses on maintaining a high-quality schedule that lives up to the general standard of Yale classes.

“We’re not running things any differently, but we’re certainly adding programs,” Whobrey said. “If you look at the new programs, we’re expanding in a couple of different directions — adult education, certain kinds of high school programming and the number of international partner schools that send students here during the summer.”

Summer Session saw 1,281 students participate this year, out of which 796 were Yale students, 124 were high school students and the rest were students from other universities.

The number of international students in Yale’s summer programs saw one of the most significant increases over the last several years, as the English Language Institute, which helps international students increase their fluency in English, added a new three-week program to go alongside its six-week program. Additionally, Yale’s summer online courses, which were in their second year of full implementation this summer, enrolled a new record of 144 students, expanding from a course catalog of nine classes in 2012 to 14 in 2013.

Within the Yale Writers’ Conference, which is also in its second year, the number of participants nearly doubled. In 2012, roughly 150 adults — ranging in age from 18 to over 60 — participated in either the 10-day program or three-day intensive program, but this year saw 250 participants.

Whobrey added that the most popular Yale Summer Session courses still are “sort of the usual suspects” that also draw many undergraduates throughout the year, including “Introduction to Microeconomics,” “Introduction to Psychology” and “Introduction to Statistics.”

Study abroad programs proved to be in demand this year, as 350 Yale undergraduates embarked on classes with Yale faculty abroad — a number that has held steady for the last four years.

Students who enrolled in Yale Summer Session said they enjoyed taking classes in the summer because of the opportunity to broaden their academic horizons while also engaging with other Yale students. Santiago Sanchez ’15, who participated in the L1 and L2 French program on-campus and in Paris this summer, said he chose to take a language class through Yale because he wanted the chance to study abroad and acquire a different perspective.

“I ended up doing it with Yale because I would be able to make friends, and have those friendships continue here on campus,” Sanchez said.

Despite the benefits, others said taking classes at Yale during the summer was slightly stressful. Bryan Duerfeldt ’16 said he did not enjoy the rapid pace of his summer courses, despite taking only one course at a time.

According to Director of Yale Summer Session Kathryn Young, 15 staff members work to coordinate all of the summer programming each year. Young added that planning for the programs offered in New Haven takes “an entire calendar year,” and that programs abroad — including all language programs that take place outside of Yale’s campus — require at least 18 months of planning in advance.

Yale Summer Session offered on-campus housing in Calhoun College and Ezra Stiles College this summer, although most students were also given the option to find their own housing off-campus.

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