This year, Claremont McKenna College will launch a summer school program, allowing students from the 5Cs to take selected classes at the college over the break.
The program, designed by CMC Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Greg Hess and Associate Dean of the Faculty Lisa Cody, will allow students to earn credits, fulfill requirements, or complete more courses to earn a dual degree. It could also free up extra time during the fall and spring semesters for students to intern or study abroad.
According to Cody, the idea came about when faculty noticed that CMC students were taking many summer school courses at other colleges. Rather than have students attempt to fulfill their General Education requirements at other schools, Cody said she “suspected there had to be a way to offer our students both more alternatives and access to really terrific faculty in each department at CMC.”
Faculty generally agreed with the idea, and when surveyed, 85 percent of CMC students and parents responded that they were in favor of the program.
At first, CMC intended to create a program different from and yet comparable to regular fall and spring semesters, with various new courses and in-depth programs. However, Cody said the Dean of the Faculty Office decided instead to launch a “pilot program” that would help the college compare shorter summer courses to regular-length semester courses.
Classes will be offered in Spanish, economics, natural sciences, psychology, history and religious studies. The program will also offer an intensive Arabic immersion program, designed by Professor of Modern Languages Bassam Frengieh. Cody called the Arabic class the “most exciting and innovative” course offered.
Classes will likely be smaller and more intensive than those in the regular school year, and other opportunities such as film nights and cultural outings may be offered.Cody does not anticipate to be competing with existing summer schools at Pitzer and Scripps, whose programs emphasize the social and natural sciences. She said she hopes it will “offer many more alternatives and opportunities to not only CMC students, but also other Claremont and college students.”
Students would also be able to enroll in classes at the various colleges’ summer schools simultaneously.
Most courses will cost approximately $3,750, which is much more expensive than most community colleges, but also much less than a regular semester at any of the 5Cs.
Cody and the Office of the Dean of Faculty hope the program will be a success, creating “an incredible, intensive, academic experience in very small classes with some of CMC’s most dedicated faculty.”