Summer classes double; students fan out across city for MLK events


Doubling number of summer classes helps meet student needs

summer-term-artIn a move to provide greater flexibility for students and their families, the University of Indianapolis this year has nearly doubled the number of summer courses available, benefiting undergraduates from UIndy as well as other institutions. UIndy’s new summer catalog touts more than 200 courses in such fields as business, mathematics, the sciences, the arts, and the humanities. The list includes introductory and upper-level courses in campus-based, online, and hybrid formats. Most run for seven weeks and are offered between early May and mid-August. Already, for most graduate programs and adult evening courses at UIndy, the traditional nine-month, two-semester schedule is a thing of the past, according to Deborah Balogh, executive vice president and provost. Some observers think year-round schedules may become the new norm for undergraduate programs nationwide. “Increasingly, summer programs are not just for those who are falling behind, but also for those who want to get ahead,” Balogh said. “Graduating in four years or less is very important to our students and their families, and that is one population that can certainly benefit from these expanded course offerings.”

In selecting the summer courses, UIndy faculty and administrators focused on those that typically have waiting lists, are especially challenging, or are required for accelerated degree programs. When possible, the summer courses correspond with Indiana’s Core Transfer Library, which assures that the credits earned will transfer among all of the state’s public college and university campuses. That transferability makes UIndy’s summer programs appealing even to students enrolled at other accredited institutions, allowing them to make progress on their degrees during the summer break—and to do so closer to home, in the case of Indianapolis-area residents. Taking summer courses could be helpful to students who struggle with the standard 15-hour course load, want to change majors or pursue double majors, or simply want to make room in their fall or spring schedules for special electives, independent study, or study-abroad opportunities, Balogh said. “Universities have to step up and leverage the capacity to meet the needs of the people we serve,” she said. “We want to encourage students to use their summers strategically to reach their goals, and not to lose valuable time.”

Hundreds of students fan out across city for MLK events

Above, a UIndy group visits Martin Luther King Jr. Park,  where Robert Kennedy delivered a historic speech the night  of King’s assassination in 1968.

Above, a UIndy group visits Martin Luther King Jr. Park,
where Robert Kennedy delivered a historic speech the night
of King’s assassination in 1968.

UIndy canceled classes and closed offices in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, a change from the past practice of opening with an adjusted schedule and a special mid-day program to mark the occasion. Despite having a three-day weekend, hundreds of UIndy students spent the day taking part in a series of University activities arranged around the King legacy and the struggle for civil rights. The day began with a morning service trip by bus to paint and clean at Indianapolis Parks & Recreation’s Indy Island facility. The University then transported students to the Madame Walker Theatre for a presentation by Sarah Collins Rudolph, a survivor of the infamous “Four Little Girls” church bombing in 1963. Another option was a tour of civil rights-related sites around Indianapolis, followed by a catered dinner and discussion on campus. Participants visited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, toured the Crispus Attucks High School museum, watched the documentary “Ripples of Hope,” and heard remarks from community leaders. Dinner featured music from UIndy’s Voices of Worship gospel choir and a talk from Sister Jane Marie Klein, who helped to administer last rites to King upon his assassination. The day ended with a private screening of the acclaimed film Selma at the nearby AMC Southern Plaza multiplex.