Debate: KPU should consider offering more condensed classes in the semester

Going to classes more frequently in fewer weeks are worth extended time off

Art by Kristen Frier

Art by Kristen Frier

As the spring semester has finally wrapped up, students are looking forward to summer. While some are looking to take the summer semester off for other activities such as jobs and vacations, plenty of students will be taking classes from May to August. 

However, while those staying in school are going further along in their studies, having some time to relax during the summer is always appreciated, as someone who is going into their fourth consecutive summer semester. 

From my experience attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University for several years, summer semesters have been something I preferred to avoid, especially in my early years. Being able to destress and focus on my side projects during the warmer months has always been helpful in making me feel refreshed for the upcoming fall and spring semesters. 

As someone who hates hot weather, travelling to campus for in-person classes during the summer isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. The lack of air conditioning inside classrooms only makes coursework more dreadful. 

I also find it harder to get mentally into the summer semester compared to the spring and fall. Whether it’s the heat or associating the summer season with relaxing and having fun, it’s one of the most difficult times of the year to stay focused on my studies. 

These reasons are partly why I think a condensed summer semester is worth considering. The cost of condensed coursework and suffering the summer heat during class time in return for extended time off to relax and have fun is a solid trade-off. 

With semesters usually lasting 12 or 13 weeks, condensing the semester to six or seven weeks of studying would be a good amount of time as students would have more time to enjoy the summer. Although it would mean studying more throughout the week, doing so would result in students earning the same amount of credits as a regular semester, and then doing whatever they want during July and August. 

Other universities such as Simon Fraser University and the University of the Fraser Valley offer condensed summer semesters. Alongside the usual summer semester from May to August, one term takes place during May and June while another term takes place during July and August. 

While KPU does offer condensed classes, the course offerings are limited. If there’s time to experiment and offer more condensed classes, the summer would be the perfect opportunity. 

If there’s ever an opportunity to take condensed courses during the summer that are required for my degree, I hope to be able to take them. Then, I can look forward to having extended time to work on my side projects without deadlines and projects looming over me.