Summer courses offer numerous advantages

June 26, 2017
Summer on campus

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Despite the common desire to take a break from schoolwork, there are many advantages of taking classes during summer months. Not only are class sizes significantly smaller, but with a maximum course load of nine credits at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, students are able to put more focus on each individual class they take. That’s not the only benefit.

“With smaller class sizes, students are able to get more individual help from professors,” said Dr. D. Joanne Wilson, who will be UW-Platteville’s Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs on July 1. “Summer courses also benefit students trying to get caught up in their majors.”

By taking summer classes, students also have the opportunity to keep up with their school routine. Even though students take a lighter course load, they still stay in habit of doing homework, studying for tests and waking up for class regularly. The same benefits are often enjoyed by professors as well.

“When I used to teach summer school, I liked it because it gave me schedule,” said Wilson, who previously taught engineering courses. “I liked having a little bit more structure in the summer. Other faculty may choose to teach in the summer for the small class sizes and the change of pace – it’s a little more relaxing.”

In many cases, summer classes provide an affordable option for students needing to catch up on credits after falling behind or even wanting to graduate early.

Melissa Hetzel, a senior from Hartford, Wisconsin, double majoring in psychology and criminal justice, is one of the many students taking a summer course at UW-Platteville. Although she has taken numerous winter and summer courses in the past, she is currently enrolled in chemistry, a class she may have had problems with during a normal semester.

“Those harder courses I know I’d struggle with are a lot easier to handle over the summer,” Hetzel said. “For me, I know that I struggle with math, so being able to focus on just chemistry now rather than four or five classes makes it easier.”

In addition to taking a summer class, Hetzel also holds various jobs on UW-Platteville’s campus including working as a tour guide and mascot, and working in event reservations and event services. She is also part of UW-Platteville’s cold case team; whose members meet throughout summer months if they’re in the area.

“I knew I was planning on working on campus this summer, so I thought, ‘Why not take another class while I’m here,’” she said.

Because of her involvement in summer classes, Hetzel will graduate a semester early, with two majors. This may not have been achievable if not for her participation in these courses.

At UW-Platteville, more than 1,200 undergraduate students are taking advantage of more than 100 courses offered this summer, ranging from public speaking to animal science to general engineering. This number also includes students who are involved in independent studies, internships and co-ops.

In addition to traditional courses, UW-Platteville offers more than 100 online courses during the summer semester. This allows students who may not be on campus to partake in their studies from the comfort of their own homes. This also allows for those involved in the distance education program to continue their education throughout the entire year rather than during traditional semesters.

Students still have time to register for second and third summer sessions. Visit for more information.

Written by: Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications, 608-342-7121,


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