summer session studentsBusiness major Kasey Chavez can’t wait to walk across the stage during May 20-21 Commencement and finally accept her degree in Business.

“I graduated in December, but I really want to get up there and walk during Commencement,” she said.

“It’s empowering to get up there and finalize this journey—acknowledge that your ship is finally sailing.”

But had she not picked up a few units during CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) Summer Session, Chavez would not have been able to graduate in the fall, she said.

Registration for Summer Session classes opened March 27 with a deadline of June 5 for Session A, July 17 for Session B and June 12 for Session C.

Offering three sessions instead of two is just one of the changes to this year’s Summer Session, according to Dean of Extended University and Digital Learning Jill Leafstedt. There will also be more classes available so students can catch up, explore a new field, prepare to return to CSUCI after a break in their education, or just take a class that intrigues you.

“This is a great way to move toward graduation,” Leafstedt said. “We’re also providing a scholarship for students who finished their first year without earning 30 units. This helps first-year students catch up so they’re fully prepared for sophomore year.

For seniors, a summer completion grant is available if you are six units away from graduating—a grant that is roughly equivalent to the cost of one course.

Chavez admitted she “messed up” her first year at CSUCI because, well…life happened, as it so often does.

“That was 2018, the year of the fires and the Borderline shooting and my dad and grandmother had cancer,” she said.

To give herself some breathing room, Chavez signed up for one of her more challenging economics classes during the summer.

“In the Summer Session, I was able to focus solely on that class,” she said. “It was fast-paced but I was able to pick up the material. I was really able to tackle the subject and get the help I needed, and I realized it wasn’t as difficult as everyone made it out to be.”

This year, Session A and B will be five weeks and Session C will last 10 weeks. Classes are available in almost 60 different disciplines including Environmental Science & Resource Management (ESRM), Information Technology (IT), Performing Arts (PA), Education, Biology and many more.

One of the most popular Summer Session courses is an Environmental Science course called “The Beach” taught by Associate Professor of ESRM, Kiersten (Kiki) Patsch and other instructors, including many guest speakers from a variety of disciplines.

“In the class, we look at all of the ways we value Southern California beaches,” Patsch said. “It can be anything from valuing it as an ecosystem, as the first line of defense against sea level rise or how we value it as an influence on our culture. By that I mean the music culture, skateboarding, surfing, dance, writing art and psychology.”

The guest speakers explore all the ways the beach influences other human arts and sciences, as well as California economics.

“After we look at how we value the beach from all of these different perspectives, we talk about how we are tasked with choices as citizens on how to protect this resource, which is threatened globally,” Patsch said.

Originally offered as an in-person class, Patsch said it is now fully online, making it more accessible to people and their busy lives.

Some of the Summer Session classes are offered online and others in person at varying times during the week. The idea, Leafstedt explained, is to make Summer Session accessible to anyone who may need it to catch up, finish up, or learn something new.

 “We offer flexible options to finish your degree. Summer is a great time to dig deeply into a subject as you’re taking one class at a time,” Leafstedt said. “Students who live on campus during the spring and fall can go home for the summer and still take class online. Summer Session is really about making school align with your life.”

To register for Summer Session or to learn more about summer courses, visit the Summer Session webpage.

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