Three credit hours in two weeks

By By Jay Logan Rogers

By Jay Logan Rogers

It may not sound like fun to sit in the same classroom for three-and-a-half hours every day of the week during the summer, but many students jump at the opportunity when it means getting a full-credit course finished in a mere two weeks.

The U offers a few two-week intensive courses to accommodate professors and students whose schedules only allow them to be in the area for part of the summer. The classes pack an entire semester’s worth of material into an abbreviated course.

“It moves a lot faster,” said Sonia Salari, associate professor of family and consumer studies. “We do all of the assignments you’d have in a normal semester.”

Salari teaches an intensive course called Family Violence (FCS 5370).

“There’s almost four hours of class every day, plus maybe two to three hours of reading,” said Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics and an associate professor of political science. Jowers taught a class earlier this summer called Money, Politics and the U.S. Presidency (POL S 4960).

Professors say that, despite the heavy workload, most students are up to the task.

“It is a huge commitment, but my students seem very motivated,” Salari said.

“The only students who I’ve had find it overwhelming were those who were working almost full time,” Jowers said.

Keeping students’ attention for three and a half hours isn’t easy, but professors have their methods. Salari brings in guest speakers and utilizes popular music relevant to class topics. Jowers sometimes plays clips from “The Daily Show” as a teaching tool.

Jowers’ course has had an unexpected benefit for some students. He said that each year he’s hired one of the best students from his summer course for his Washington D.C. law firm.

While few students get a job offer out of their summer classroom experience, most said they like the two-week intensive format.

“I think it’s great to get it over with in two weeks,” said Nicole Bradley, a senior in human development and family studies.

“If you plan ahead for the workload, it’s awesome,” said Emily Ericksen, a junior in early childhood education.

One group of students that finds two-week intensive courses especially convenient is football players. Mike Liti, senior in communication and running back for the U football team, said there are 10 to 12 players (himself included) in Salari’s Family Violence course. They favor taking classes in May and June because the team’s practice schedule gets more intense in the summer’s later months.

“Next week we really start training and conditioning, so it’s worth it to get this over with,” Liti said. “I wish all my classes were like this.”

While researching her thesis on “Severe Intimate Partner Violence,” masters student Carrie Sillito found that 81 percent of violent acts occur in the home. Sillito presented her thesis to Dr. Sonia Salari’s Family Violence class on Monday, an intensive two-week long summer class offered to students. Registration for the class of 90 students was full by April 1st.