Summer Courses

<p>Would you guys recommend an incoming freshman to take summer courses?</p>

<p>I am going to be majoring in Business and thought it might be a good idea to try and knock out a few of the pre-reqs. What do you guys think?</p>

<p>Thanks in advance.</p>

<p>Better than doing nothing. Makes first year much easier and summer classes usually more low key if not easier. Smaller classes too.</p>

<p>Summer is a great time for a freshman to take courses. Many courses that will fill up for you in the fall won't fill up in the summer session, and the courses are a little easier so if you study hard it's a good transition into college classes.</p>

<p>Make sure you're serious about it, though. Most sessions are 8 weeks or shorter, so you can't really fall behind.</p>

<p>Also summer in Madison is wonderful. Lots of free concerts, farmer's market, the terrace, sunning in the parks. That's why many students don't leave after their first year.</p>

<p>Here's a perspective on summer school courses.</p>

<p>"..if not easier". The same course will be of the same caliber- if you choose a calculus course it will be just as tough as during the semester, only paced twice as fast. Consider that a typical HS/AP course for one year may take one semester in college, then go twice as fast- 4 times the speed of your HS courses. If 12-16 credits are a normal full time load then one 3-4 credit course is a full time load compared to the pace of HS that an incoming freshman is used to. Of course, anyone accepted to UW will be of high caliber and easily able to handle the load with time for the fun life as they would have had time for extracurriculars as well as a full load in HS. Remember that any papers will have to be written sooner- sometimes easier than having too much time to put them off. If you are not enamored with the material you still have to immerse yourself in it full time.</p>

<p>Consider the financial cost- not just the per credit tuition and fees, but the need to pay for room and board- even a cheap sublet costs more than staying at home. Most students already have a network of friends and know how college works. There will be no mentoring or special treatment- you will be expected to know the ropes. Some students will already have college campus experience from courses taken at one while still in HS. No hand holding or realization you are a naive freshman to be- none of the Wisconsin new student activities that take place at the beginning of the fall semester. With the pace being double that of the semester will you have time to recover from normal newbie errors- discovering how to use the libraries (which one) and computer facilities, recovering from that first test/paper and revising your strategies... ? Will you be able to optimize your course experience?</p>

<p>With the above perspective I think it would nicer to be patient and utilize summers after freshman year to do college coursework. If anything try to take courses at your nearby UW college. UW-Madison students can take summer courses as a nondegree student at any UW campus without going through admission hoops- and the credits usually transfer easily to UW-Madison. Not sure how this works for newly admitted, though.</p>

<p>Short answer- NO. Enjoy your last summer of freedom from responsibilities before tackling school work, you have plenty of years to be an adult.</p>

<p>I think most can get through intro to econ, psych or sociology without undue stress.. I would avoid heavy math, languages, or tech classes because it takes time to absorb that sort of material. If there are no work plans for summer it's a productive thing to do assuming cost is not a big issue. Also nice to start the Fall with a working knowledge of college and campus. Sublets are very cheap and abundant. Two classes would be just right.</p>

<p>I wouldn't recommend taking summer courses before the start of freshman year, regardless of the subject matter. It's a rather abrupt way to start college. You'd be better off getting acclimated to college life, and college level work, at the more leisurely pace that the fall semester allows.</p>

<p>UW runs a program for some Fall freshman during the summer to help prepare them for college and it has had excellent success. So starting a little early with less pressure is considered a good way to help marginal students prepare for full-time college I think it is reasonable to say that a regular admit could take a couple relatively basic classes and enjoy the experience.</p>

<p>Summer</a> Collegiate Experience</p>

<p>I don't think he's talking about participating in the "support" program that you've just referenced, but simply enrolling in summer courses. Less of a sure thing, in my view. Remember that he was originally postponed, has relatively low ACTs for UW, and was hardly an easy admit. I'd hate to see him get off to a bad start.</p>

<p>It's up to the OP, but I've taken several summer classes at UWMadison. There are no mandated department curves as there are during the fall/spring, so someone considering business (where almost all classes are curved) will find it easier grades wise. </p>

<p>The session is fast, but if the OP comes in with a serious mindset he/she should do fine. If you can't handle a summer session you won't be able to handle a fall session. And it's better to make your mistakes and learn from them during a summer session with 2 courses than a fall session with 5.</p>

<p>I'm not sure how much experience everyone else has with actually taking summer courses in the last few years, but I'm speaking from personal experience. I will admit that I didn't take summer classes before freshman year. If you like learning, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised that college is not as hard as people say; they're preparing you for the worst case scenario.</p>

<p>Just curious, what summer classes have you taken?</p>

<p>A couple I'm currently taking; I'd rather not specify which:</p>

<p>AIS 301, Chem 104, AIS 302, Astro 103, CS 302</p>

<p>I think Madison's question might be addressing whether my summer courses were too easy to represent a typical summer class (or maybe I haven't taken enough courses to make comparisons). Admittedly, these aren't the hardest classes, but chem and accounting (maybe even comp sci) are at least not too easy. I've taken 60 credits during the Fall/Spring, so I think I have enough course experience to compare summer and fall/spring. </p>

<p>I'm not an academic adviser. I'm just saying that I've taken a few courses in the summer, I've enjoyed them, and I didn't find them too hard for a rising freshman to potentially handle. If you like learning, I think you should go for it.</p>

<p>Hi justtotalk -- no I was just curious about your summer courses since my son just finished freshman year and is waiting to hear if he has been accepted to the business school, but so far has not wanted to take any summer school classes (choosing instead to work full time in summer guarding and teaching swim lessons). I went to summer school every year after freshman year when I was a B-School student in the early 80s and enjoyed it.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot for all the feedback. I do have a summer job that I will have to give-up if I do take summer courses.</p>

<p>Yet another reason to stay at home and work. No need to rush- enjoy this last summer at home with all of your HS friends.</p>

<p>Hi Madison85 -- I've taken those summer classes over the past couple years and will probably take a couple more during my last summer next year. As I'm sure you remember, there's still plenty of time to do volunteering/work, but there's definitely less time to do a full internship or leave the Madison area. </p>

<p>I really like taking as many classes as possible before graduation, so I'm going this route. But It's definitely not the smartest way to go--I'll have less internship experience and relevant work, etc., I think it's even better that your son is working full time (even if it's probably not relevant work yet); I think going to school over the summer sacrifices a bit of resume padding time in order to do what I want.</p>

<p>While those internships are important later in college for a pre-frosh to take a few classes has far more potential benefits than problems. Especially with the job market this summer.</p>

<p>I guess I don't understand the big push for a pre-frosh to take classes before the fall. Is the concern that you need a head start because it's so hard to get into all the classes you need to graduate from UW in four years?</p>

<p>No, it just gives you time to take more classes and maybe double major as many UW students do. Plus Madison in the summer is even better than during the rest of the year. Like a 5 star resort for students. </p>

<p>Wisconsin</a> Union: Experiences for a Lifetime</p>

<p>
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Is the concern that you need a head start because it's so hard to get into all the classes you need to graduate from UW in four years?

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<p>How'd you know?! :rolleyes: </p>

<p>I guess I just don't understand the big push for a parent that has nothing to do with UW Madison to constantly post nothing but negative and incorrect things on the UW Madison board. Is the concern that you're just butthurt and have nothing better to do with your time but be a Negative Nancy?</p>

<p>And Redhawks, for what it's worth, you can totally do it, but I don't see the point. Relax and enjoy this summer before your freshman year. There will be other summers to stay in Madison and study if you really want to. It might be an experience to do it, that's for sure, and you will absolutely benefit from it, but personally, I wouldn't. Good luck regardless. :)</p>