Summer is in full swing!
Writer: Rahul S. Shrivastav
UGA is the place to be this summer! Thanks to all your efforts, our preliminary data indicate that our total enrollment this summer has increased over 9 percent compared to 2015. We are offering nearly 2,300 unique courses, including over 300 online classes (an increase of about 85 percent over last year). These classes help provide greater accessibility for students during the summer who are looking to enhance their learning experiences through study abroad, field study and internships. By the time we wrap up summer sessions in early August, we anticipate having the highest summer enrollment at UGA since 2010 and the Great Recession with more than 15,500 students taking advantage of summer classes. UGA also will have the third highest summer enrollment since 2003 and the highest undergraduate enrollment on record—well over 10,800. We made several changes to help you offer more classes over the summer, including moving the summer registration earlier in the academic year, making summer teaching funds available sooner and developing a summer enrollment campaign for students. We plan to continue these again next year. A big thank you to all faculty and advisors who have made this possible. If you have additional suggestions or see any barriers for increasing summer classes and enrollment, please let me know.
While many students continue their classes, the newest additions to the UGA family are just starting to familiarize themselves to our campus and resources. The new student orientation is in full swing and about 3,600 students have already gone through their first academic advisement and have been introduced to departments and resources that will make their experience at UGA unique while familiarizing them with campus. Orientation runs from June 1-August 3 and includes first-year, transfer and international students.
Another program that will soon bring more activity to campus is the Freshman College Summer Experience. This July program helps transition first-year students into college by providing them with a head start and guidance in academics and navigating the campus before most of the students arrive fall semester. We have an 80% increase this year in first-year students taking advantage of this early enrollment program. Next week 262 students will move into Oglethorpe Residence Hall and participate in a program that has been updated to include engagement in a service-learning course, along with the addition of an Honors course and a new emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). By the end of the summer, these students will have pulled in a full month and earned six credit hours well before the rest of the 5,200 first-year students arrive in Athens between August 7-10.
Despite the considerable increase in summer enrollment this year, I believe we have room to grow further. There is plenty of classroom space during the summer, and there remain a large number students who do not enroll in summer classes. Analyses of our student records suggests that students who take summer classes are more likely to graduate within four years. Contact your department or college if you would like to teach next summer. If teaching on campus is not feasible, consider teaching an online class instead. And if you already teach online, talk to our Office of Online Learning to see if you can increase the number of students in your online class without losing the quality of interaction and pedagogy.
I hope the remainder of your summer is productive and enjoyable. In the meantime, if you have any innovative ideas you’d like to share about instruction, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice President for Instruction