By Cecilia Cress
Elm Staff Writer
Washington College is hosting an organized summer term, featuring courses which are available to WC students as well as students from all over the world, for the first time during the summer of 2021.
The official add/drop registration period for the summer term courses opened on April 26, according to an April 2 email sent by the Provost’s Office.
At the request of students, many summer courses will be online and asynchronous, so they can “easily fit into a work or internship schedule,” according to Interim Dean and Provost Dr. Michael Harvey.
The summer term is split into two modules: Module A runs from May 26 to June 23, and Module B runs from July 5 to July 30.
Module A courses are offered only online, while Module B courses are offered in person as well as virtually.
Each module offers different courses in a variety of subjects in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics departments. Information about each summer course can be found on the summer term webpage.
Summer courses are typically four credits and cost the student $2000 per course, but exceptions are noted on the summer term webpage.
Financial aid is available for the summer term, but the requirements are divided into different categories depending on if the recipient is a current WC student, if they are a member of the class of 2025, if they are a high school student, or if they are an adult.
More information about the financial aid requirements and application process is on the summer financial aid webpage.
Summer housing is offered on campus for both modules. Students will be housed in a single room in the fraternity quad, in Talbot House, Cecil House, or Dorchester House. Students can also be housed in Cullen Hall if needed, according to an April 14 email from Assistant Director of Residence Life Amy Sine.
Students can choose to be housed on campus during one or both of the summer modules. A dining meal plan is also offered for the summer term.
Dr. Harvey said this first attempt at a fully organized summer term is a direct result of the repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The big effort to try out summer school is new, and in part it’s because we’ve had so many students whose path was disrupted by COVID. One thing we’d heard loud and clear was, ‘We should give students an opportunity to catch up with summer classes,’ and that’s one of the hopes,” Dr. Harvey said.
Before this year, Dr. Harvey said the chances of WC hosting a summer term with online courses was low, because experience with virtual classes was limited.
“Up until this year, I don’t think we thought that we could do that very well. We’ve had to learn how to do it,” Dr. Harvey said.
One of the professors teaching courses for the summer term is Associate Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture Dr. Joseph Prud’homme.
He will be teaching two online courses, one in Module A and one in Module B.
His Module A course, “Freedom in American Political Life,” is “a fascinating political science course that looks at the history of debates surrounding freedom from the time of the American Revolution until today,” according to Dr. Prud’homme.
Topics explored in the course include the American Revolution, the writing of the Constitution, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction Period, as well as changes within the twentieth century like the New Deal, Cold War, and Civil Rights Movements.
“It’s a course that will draw from history lessons that we can apply to today about debates surrounding the meaning of freedom,” Dr. Prud’homme said.
His Module B course, “Islam: A Detailed Introduction,” is one of few in-depth courses about Islam being offered at WC.
“It will be a detailed introduction to the life of the prophet Muhammed, to his message, and to the development of Islamic thought,” Dr. Prud’homme said.
Dr. Prud’homme also said that since Islam does not “isolate religion from other aspects of life,” the class will also explore “the intersection of Islam in politics and culture.”
Both courses will feature a wide variety of guest speakers.
“This is an opportunity to really learn from some of the masters of this area of study,” Dr. Prud’homme said.
If any student is interested in receiving more information or signing up for summer courses, visit the summer term webpage.
Featured Photo caption: The first summer term offered by Washington College officially opened for registration in April. Students will have the option of taking online or in-person courses, and the term will be split into two modules. Elm File Photo.