May term receives new focus

by Sheyenne Manning and Erin Gerken

May term will begin to focus on experiential learning with hands-on activities offered in courses on and off campus.

Under the new curriculum, students will be required to take only two May term courses to graduate. The change has been made in hopes that students will utilize this time to take courses that will provide real-world experience.

Steve Griffith, senior vice president and academic dean, urges students to take advantage of the travel opportunities offered during May Term.

“If I were king of the world, study abroad would be part of every student’s experience,” Griffith said.

There are nine international travel opportunities offered for students this coming May term.

“Unless you are doing an independent study, an internship near campus, or research with a faculty member, I don’t know that there is an advantage to staying on campus,” Griffith said. “I am a big proponent of study abroad, both in May term and during the regular semester.”

The deadline to apply for international courses was Sept. 27, although some instructors may accept applications after this date.

“If they don’t make that then there is a possibility that some courses will continue to have space availability into October,” International Education Coordinator Jay Wilkinson said.

Director of Career Services Jennifer del Pino also recommends that all students participate in May term.

“I hope students will take advantage of the opportunities available because it is a different kind of learning – a very necessary kind of learning,” del Pino said.

“Coop 119: Career Observation” is an on-campus course structured to provide students with the opportunity to learn what it’s like in their chosen field of study. Students job shadow during the course and learn to write a cover letter and resume, as well as have the opportunity to learn networking and etiquette skills and have a mock interview.

Registration for on campus and domestic travel May term courses has also made a change.

Students who have not completed any May term courses will take priority registration beginning on Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m. Students who have completed one May term will register on Nov. 8, and students with two ormore completed will register Nov. 9.

These registration priority dates do not apply to May term study abroad courses.

In order to stay on campus during May term, students will be required to take a May term class or be involved in a college-approved activity, such as athletics.

Students who wish to be a part of May term but do not wish to study abroad or take classes on campus also have the option to participate in internships and independent research opportunities.

Another considerable change will be in the date of commencement. This year, the ceremony will be held on April 28, two days before May term begins.

“We realized that most seniors would likely finish their two May term courses before their senior year,” Griffith said. “Given this, we thought it best to move commencement before May term so that seniors could participate in Commencement and then go on to their jobs. We were worried that seniors would leave during May and not come back to participate in graduation. The way we have decided to do it, allows seniors to get a jump on the job market.”

In order to gain a more accurate idea of which classes students will want to take during May term, there will be a survey sent to all students in the weeks to come.

Students are encouraged to contact the Registrar’s Office or their academic adviser with any questions.