Intersession Students Power-Add Unitsby Jan Janes on Jan 13, 2017
Break? What break?
Between fall and spring semesters, intrepid students at Gavilan College prioritized their academic goals to attend intensive one-week and three-week intersession classes.
More than 40 different class offerings across multiple areas of study were in the schedule of classes students could select. Classes were offered at the Gilroy and Hollister campuses, both in class and online, daytime and evening.
Theatre instructor Cherise Mantia discusses key elements of the plot line structure
and homework assignments with the Theatre Appreciation intersession students.
"This year's winter intersession offerings at Gavilan are symbolic of the direction the college is moving," said Dr. Kathleen Rose, superintendent/president of the college. "Distance education courses are extremely popular right now. Students are asking for a variety of learning modalities, and we are providing more and more options."
Classes fit personal schedules
For Reneé Ridgway, a professional who works in the nonprofit field and has two school age children, taking Theatre Appreciation during intersession was an ideal fit for her schedule. A business major and recent transfer from De Anza College, she earned three units while her children were also in school. "This class is a good way to learn about social influences," Ridgway said, "and theatre can be very motivating."
In attending Theatre Appreciation, Ruby Diaz de León enrolled in her first intersession class at Gavilan. "The class helps you see how people react to different situations." She works with Youth Alliance in Hollister, and noted the short course, while very convenient, also helped her focus and determination.
Cross listed classes attract diverse majors
Maria Lopez teaches Presentation Graphics, MS Powerpoint, cross listed in both communications and computer science. She also teaches the class during the summer in the same time span, so no curriculum adaptations were required for intersession.
Christian Avila, a humanities major, opted to take the class to ensure he had the necessary units for graduation, slated for Spring 2017. "It's a great advantage to use this time to get three units in a shorter time span," he said of the class, which meets for one week, four hours each day. He is developing his presentation on what he likes best about Gavilan.
For Maria Iboa, an administration of justice graduate, the class offered skills for career enhancement. "Because technology is getting so advanced," she said, "it's great to be able to come back and learn more of what Gav has to offer."
Maria Iboa explores presentation graphics options during the cross-listed
Presentation Graphics class offered during winter intersession in January 2017.
A chance to fulfill graduation requirements
In a classroom filled with globes and maps, Daune Willahan teaches Physical Geography, a lecture and lab class that fulfills students' physical science graduation requirement for many different majors. Teaching it as an intersession class, which she has done for years, requires curriculum changes.
"In three weeks time, with the longer class sessions, students immerse in the concepts," said Willahan. The schedule includes lecture and lab daily, along with a field trip to Hollister to explore earthquakes and faulting. She uses the same textbook as the semester-long class, but students power through a new chapter every day.
Class offerings during intersession included art, anthropology, athletics, business, economics, guidance, library research, math, political science, sociology and Spanish.
Accountability and focus, common themes
During Introduction to Philosophy, instructor Nathan Osborne guides students through the fundamentals in three short weeks. Student Michelle Lujan, a second year administration of justice major, has taken summer classes twice, but this was her first intersession class.
"I'm learning about love, true beauty, so many different perspectives from other philosophies," she said. Her career goal is to work with juveniles to give them second chances, rehabilitation and develop programs that deemphasize punishment.
She noted that taking an intersession class helps the student be accountable, focused, study on schedule and take good notes. Due to her public transportation schedule, she arrives very early in the morning and has the classroom to herself, finishing homework before class begins. "It's fast, but you get it out of the way," said Lujan. "Intersession classes are a great payoff."