Featured (List) Opinion

Summer Break is Cancelled!

The summer symbolizes the end of an academic school year. Many college students choose to pick up a summer job, work more hours at their current jobs, or, if they live on-campus or near campus, they go home for the summer.

But what about those students who want to take summer classes and graduate sooner?

According to WebAdvisor, Monmouth University offered 39 sections in Summer A, 132 in Summer B, 96 in Summer C, 27 in Summer D, and 127 in Summer E this past semester. Altogether, that makes a total of 421 classes offered. These are a mix of undergraduate and graduate courses.

During the academic school year, Monmouth offered 1520 courses in Fall 2023 and 1465 in Spring 2023. Both semesters totaled 2,985 courses between undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and developmental levels. It’s safe to say 2,985 courses during the fall and spring semesters compared to 421 courses in the summer is a dramatic difference.

Every year, I take classes over the summer. This past summer, I took AR 290, PR 433, and CO 293. AR 290 covered my minor requirement, PR 433 covered my major requirement, and CO 293 was not a requirement, but was a class I took for my personal, career development.

Taking these classes not only helped with fulfilling requirements that I needed to finish, but it also helped me adjust better to the fall semester. Since I was taking classes all summer, I felt like I did not have a break, except for the few weeks in May and August, and had an easier time adjusting to my fall schedule.
Besides, when we graduate college and go into the “real world” with full-time careers, there are no summer breaks. There is paid time off, but depending on the career, it could be as short as a few weeks. After we graduate high school, we are “adults”, so why not start transitioning as an adult now?

A sophomore political science student, Michelle Rymar, agreed, “I think that Monmouth should offer more courses that are available in the summer if people want to take them. It will help people fill up their gen-ed requirements and get them graduating ahead of schedule.”

Many of the summer classes focus on gen-ed, or general education, requirements – mostly 100-level courses in English, science, math, and history. These kinds of classes are mostly aimed at first year and second year students.

But, what about students who have finished the majority of their general education requirements, whether that be during their first years at Monmouth or if they transferred those credits from another intuition? What about those students that are specific majors with concentrations that require specialized courses designed for their concentrated studies? There should be classes available for them as well. If the university requires students to take summer courses, then more of those courses could be run and students will get out of school earlier and into the workforce quicker.

Senior creative writing student, Christina Rodriguez, said, “More online courses should be offered for long distance students during the summer. It can help students who can go home, but still want to take courses over the summer.”

Why do we even have summer vacation? According to brilliantio.com, in early America, schools used to follow an agricultural calendar. Agriculture was the backbone of the nation and family’s source of income. The children would help their families during the summer to harvest the crops. Different areas of the country would have either an extended or shortened summer break. In urban areas, their summer breaks were shorter “because they relied less on agricultural activities.”

Due to the nation shifting and growing since the early days of America, there is no need for us to have a summer break if the children are not going to work for families. If anything, the thought of having children at home during the summer is difficult for parents, especially if they work and need to arrange childcare during the day. Some families cannot afford to hire a baby sitter or send their kids off to camp, and the kids could be stuck at home by themselves all day long.

Focusing back on college, there are some college students who do not want to leave their university for the summer, especially if they live out of state. If they do not want to go home, or if they cannot go home for whatever reason, they need to worry about finding a place to stay.

I feel like we should be required to be in school over the summer. We should have a fifteen-week section, just like the fall and spring semesters, and have a week or two of a break in between semesters for students to have a mental health break, or if students wanted to work some more hours. If we have a fifteen-week section over the summer, then Monmouth can offer more courses, make more money, and the professors could have work and a paycheck over the summer.

“I think we should keep the summer breaks in between semesters,” Rymar disagreed. “Having another fifteen-week over the summer would be awful for commuters traveling southbound because of beach traffic during that time, and some of the dorms do not even have air conditioning available, so it would be difficult for residents as well.”