|
|
|
McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Interterm allows for unique opportunities at Central

  • By the time most students return to the campuses of the state’s largest universities, Michelle Crabtree, a sophomore at Central Christian College of Kansas, will have added another three credit hours to her transcript, without the hassle and cost of an additional semester.
    • email print
  • By the time most students return to the campuses of the state’s largest universities, Michelle Crabtree, a sophomore at Central Christian College of Kansas, will have added another three credit hours to her transcript, without the hassle and cost of an additional semester.
    Unlike many larger colleges and universities which have done away with the extra class time, Central, and many small, private universities, have continued utilizing the interterm system, a nearly month-long class period that falls between the Christmas break and the start of the spring semester.
    Central has noted the flexibility and opportunities interterm provides.
    “Interterm is a wonderful tool that students can use to enhance their educational experience,” said
    Central Provost Lenny Favara, noting that 97 percent of Central’s students participate in interterm.
    Interterm allows students to complete a course in a one-month period, earning up to three credit hours and checking a course off their list. Students attend class for about four hours each morning and have the afternoon free to complete homework, work or participate in extra curricular activities.
    There are three main reasons, Favara said, for the college’s use of the interterm period: cost, class flexibility and length of classes.
    Credits earned during interterm are free to students and the half-day class periods allow professors to tackle larger projects and cover information with more insight.
    And with students taking only one class during interterm, they are better able to concentrate on that one subject, instead of spreading their time and energy among five different classes. That’s a positive for students who both enjoy and struggle with their interterm class.
    “The student who does not like speech can take three-and-a-half weekswith it forever,” Favara said.
    “There are no worries related to other homework assignments or projects. The student can focus 100 percent on the task at hand. The same is true for the student who loves a subject. The concentrated environment of interterm allows complete immersion in the subject at hand.”
    Central Communication and Theater Professor Chris Gates said he enjoys teaching interterm courses. Gates, who has about 15 students in his Principals of Speech class, said he enjoys the extra class time but does understand he restrictions the schedule puts on students.
    “The longer class time allows me to go more in-depth on a subject and gives the students and opportunity to give stronger speeches,” Gate said. “There is less preparation time for students but I still feel like they have better success because they are more focused on the class.”
    Crabtree agrees that the longer class period allows her to focus her efforts on one subject, but with a full calendar of class, play practice and work, she said cramming in the homework and study time can be difficult.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Class starts at 8:30 a.m. and I’m usually not done with my day until after supper,” she said. “I’m just as busy as I am during a regular semester.”
    Central, like many colleges, also uses interterm to provide travel opportunities. This year, a group of faculty, students and college administration, including Central President Hal Hoxie, traveled to Israel.
    Students who opted to travel earned class credit and didn’t have to worry about juggling the trip with other class work.
    Gates, who is directing the college’s upcoming production, “Zap,” also uses the open afternoons for play practice. That means long days for him but good practice time for his cast. And for those not involved in an extra-curricular activity, it means open afternoons free of classes and exams.
    No matter how students use the interterm period, Favara said it’s a plus for everyone on campus.
    “There is no doubt about it - interterm is a fantastic source of concentrated and creative immersion into a unique learning experience, all for free.”
    Central’s interterm period will conclude this week and students will resume a regular class schedule Jan. 31 with the start of the spring semester.
      • calendar