Students taking advantage of Elon Summer Sessions

All Summer 2020 instruction has been moved online in response to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.

More than 1,600 students will take part in Elon Summer 2020, which has seen increased interest as the university hosts two Summer Sessions that offer students a variety of course options. That’s an increase of more than 50 percent over enrollment during the past two summers.

Summer Session I is already underway and continues through June 26. Summer Session II is scheduled for July 6-27. The transition to virtual instruction this summer is a continuation of the university’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as students, faculty and staff prepare to return to campus full time in the fall.

This summer 1,609 students are enrolled in 172 courses taught by 116 faculty members, all increases over the past two summers. The online courses extend across a variety of disciplines and offer students opportunities to continue their studies during the summer months as uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has impacted experiences inside and outside the classroom since March.

“With fewer internships and jobs available, Elon students are taking advantage of summer classes to get ahead in their studies or retake courses for better grades,” said University Registrar and Assistant Vice President Rodney Parks.

Parks says the university has expanded some of its offerings to cater to students taking part in this unique summer experience. This year, Elon has offered summer enrollment to a number of first-year students, a practice that has not been common in the past. The university is also conducting its first virtual lab science courses in which students will use laboratory kits, delivered to them by faculty, to conduct lab testing at home.

An example of a laboratory kit mailed to students enrolled in virtual summer physics courses.

Associate Professor of Physics Kyle Altmann’s introductory physics course has a laboratory component. To help students get the most out of their virtual lab time, he has delivered to each student a lab kit containing a sensor for measuring force and speed, 3D-printed attachments for the sensors that will allow students to conduct a variety of tests, and several other important tools to help students take part in hands-on lab experiments even while away from campus.

“We wanted to make sure that the students who were taking these classes online over the summer were getting the full experience,” Altmann said. “A lot of what we do in science is collecting data and analyzing data, and that’s one of the big experiences that students get out of these lab-based classes.”

Elon’s Summer Sessions offer more than just classroom experiences. The program also allows students to engage in experiential learning opportunities. Each Elon Experiences office – Internships, Leadership, Service-Learning, Undergraduate Research and Global Engagement – has opportunities for students to fulfill their Experiential Learning Requirements (ELRs) or satisfy their desire to learn through reflective experiences.

Parks says the virtual summer experience will ensure that students are able to continue participating in the engaged, experiential learning opportunities unique to Elon.

“Today, more students want to take summer courses to get ahead, transferring courses from schools all over the country,” Parks said. “As Elon Summer College grows in its offerings, current students don’t have to seek out alternative colleges and universities to take courses. Elon summer courses keep students engaged with the high-quality faculty and small class sizes they have grown to love.

For more information about summer education at Elon, visit the Elon Summer website.