Curriculum Corner: May term answers

Curriculum Corner: May term answers

by Steve Griffith

What’s up with May term?

Here is the real story about May term in the Engaged Citizenship Curriculum (ECC).

Since its inception in 1967, the reaction to offering a “short term” has been mixed. Some students and faculty have loved it, and some have hated it. The types of courses that work best in May term are those that get students really involved in hands-on activity.

Things like study abroad, job shadowing and internships, independent study, and independent research work well in May term. In the ECC, we will increase these types of opportunities.

At the same time, since hands-on learning is becoming more and more popular in regular semester courses, it no longer makes sense to force all students to take all four May terms.

By reducing the requirement to two courses, we will decrease the number of students who feel they are “stuck” taking their third of fourth choice for May term and increase the number of students who are engaged in meaningful hands-on learning.

It is also our intention to find ways to decrease the cost of study abroad in May, offer more domestic study courses, and increase the number of opportunities for internships and student research opportunities.

One possibility to complete the two-course requirement is for students to do one international or domestic study class and an internship or job shadow.

So to re-cap, beginning in 2011-2012, all students are required to complete one four-credit May term for two full years in residence. For most full-time students this will mean two May terms.

To simplify billing and financial aid, full-time students may take additional May term courses without extra charge.

Only those students who are enrolled in a May term class, or are participating in an approved activity (something like sports, faculty supervised research, service-learning, etc.) will be allowed to live in Simpson College’s residential facilities. Courses offered on campus will be designed to take advantage of the big blocks of time offered by May term.

Students not taking a May term will be able to get an early start on their summer job.