Taking additional classes over the summer when others are on vacation is no walk in the park–even for those eager to get ahead. And distractions during the summer months seem to multiply as every week passes.

Share these helpful hints with your students for planning out and thriving during their summer semester.

Why enroll?

There are a lot of reasons to consider taking classes over the summer semester, such as to:

  • finish required credits earlier
  • knock out a pre-requisite in preparation for a class in the fall
  • test the waters of a subject you’re interested in
  • make up for a past course you withdrew from or didn’t pass

This means there’s much to gain and be proud of when you complete your summer semester.

Check your requirements

Many times, summer classes are no different than your regular classes, and easy to plan and complete. Other times, they may require some strategizing on your part. It’s a good idea to check with your advisor to ensure you’re taking all the right classes needed to stay on track for graduation.

If you’re thinking of taking a summer class at a college different from your regular school, remember:

  • Make sure that exact course at that exact school transfers for usable credit into your program.
  • Find out if your program is on the same grading scale, especially if you are taking the class to raise your GPA. Some courses may be recorded as pass/fail, which may not add up for you.
  • Meet with your newly assigned advisor at that school if you need it — they’re there to help.

Plan ahead

As summer courses are often shorter, you may find yourself doing considerably more reading and homework each week than you would in a longer course. Since you’ll likely be going through information much more quickly, review our post, “Tips for Students: How to Take Thoughtful and Critical Notes.”

If you enjoy the subject, the extra intensity can provide a welcomed stimulus to learn. If the subject is not your favorite, prepare to reserve extra deep-focus time for studying.

Study groups

Even though summer classes may place you with classmates you’ve never met before, it’s important to stay on top of your studies and away from distractions. Connecting with one or more other students may be just what you need to stay focused.

Visit our post, “Study Groups and Support Systems: Tips from Students” for some tips from college students who have experienced great benefits when they connected with other students, form solid study groups, and engage in peer-to-peer learning experiences.

What do you think is the biggest benefit to taking summer courses? Share your thoughts below.