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Illustration by Jez Callejas/UC San Diego Publications

UC San Diego Summer Session Initiatives Cultivate a Culture of Year-Round Education

With beautiful beaches located just steps away, UC San Diego may seem like an ideal place for students to spend summers. At the same time, for many students, summer is synonymous with closing the books and getting away, evoking images of vacant lecture halls and empty residence halls. Now, UC San Diego’s new Summer Session initiatives allow students to experience the best of both worlds—they can enjoy the sun, sand and clear blue waters off the coast of La Jolla, while also focusing on their academic success.

Enrolling in Summer Session offers students myriad benefits. They can accelerate their progress towards their degrees and register for courses that may be difficult to fit in during the regular school year. Ultimately, taking courses in Summer Session puts students on the path to graduating on time.

“Summer Session builds academic skills and allows students to make academic progress. This is especially true for new, incoming students who enroll in summer session prior to their first quarter at the university,” said Gabriele Wienhausen, faculty director of the university’s Teaching + Learning Commons.

UC San Diego Summer Session, in which up to 10,000 students enroll every year, offers more than 600 courses from over 40 disciplines. Summer Session 1 takes place from June 27 to July 30, and Summer Session 2 will be held from Aug.1 to Sept. 3. The Summer Preview of Courses is now available, and students can begin enrolling on April 11.

Study, work and live affordably while attending Summer Session

Before considering enrollment in summer session, students must also think about its costs; efforts have been implemented that will allow students to live, work and study affordably during Summer Session.

For example, need-based students are eligible for the UC San Diego summer grant, in the amount of $2,000 for continuing UC San Diego students. Students may also pay for Summer Session with financial aid remaining from the previous academic year, or by applying for scholarships. More information on how to pay for summer session can be found here.

In addition, as part of the Housing, Dining and Hospitality acceleRATE Program, which is designed to cut housing costs for students who want to live in on-campus housing and are enrolled in Summer Session courses, students will be able to stay in housing during summer for a significantly reduced rate – as low as $15 per night. Summer housing this year will be located at Thurgood Marshall College and Warren College, and students will still have access to the campus shuttle service, recreational facilities and more. “Students would be hard pressed to find another spot this close to the beach for a price like that,” Mark Cunningham, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Housing, Dining and Hospitality (HDH) said.

Furthermore, UC San Diego’s HDH and the Career Services Center are partnering in an effort to connect Summer Session students with temporary jobs, from staffing conference operations and summer camps to filling academic and administrative posts that are normally vacant in the summer. These summer jobs should help provide summer session students with the funds necessary to cover the costs of rent, basic necessities and study materials.

Summer Academies: helping new students transition to UC San Diego

A key summer academy called Summer Bridge Math Track G, which caters to incoming freshmen, will focus on mathematics. Developed by Jeff Remmel, mathematics professor and associate dean of the Division of Physical Sciences; Jeff Orgera, assistant vice chancellor of Student Retention and Success; staff from the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS); and Wienhausen, the five-week academy will approach mathematics conceptually rather than procedurally and help freshmen pass tough math courses to avoid common feelings of discouragement.

“Some students, including those who successfully completed Advanced Placement Calculus, do not succeed in math courses,” said Wienhausen. “As a consequence, students are forced to retake the course, and often became discouraged. Our goal is to provide students with a small class environment in which conceptual understanding is emphasized.”

In addition to incoming freshmen, the implementation of Summer Session Academies will introduce programs for transfer students to assist them in their transition to our campus and aid them in a more timely graduation. “Transitioning students often experience significant academic, social, emotional, physical or developmental changes that may adversely affect their educational performance,” Wienhausen added. One academy will offer incoming transfer students a five-week residential program during the second summer session that includes courses with smaller class sizes to facilitate more intimate discussion and more effectively meet the students’ needs. Transfer students also have the opportunity to take a special non-credit bearing “University 101” course that introduces them to UC San Diego’s resources, leadership opportunities and faculty.

Summer session is also open to other college students, but UC San Diego students have priority. For more information, click here.