SBCC faculty pushes back against adding third summer session

Daniel Wallace, News Editor

An extra summer term might be offered for the 2018-19 academic year, but very few teachers appear to be interested in offering classes for it.

The Academic Senate met Wednesday to understand whether adding a third, 12-week summer session in addition to the two summer sessions City College already has should be scheduled on next year’s calendar. If offered, more classes could be scheduled that are not normally offered or have few sections during the summer, such as high-unit courses in the science and mathematics departments.

The senator representing the sciences, however, said that it is unlikely more science courses would be taught if the term was offered.

“Most people affirmed ‘no.’ Of the small minority that said yes, when asked what classes they would teach, only one person articulated a class that they would teach and that was an online class that was already being taught [in the summer],” said Raeanne Napoleon, sciences representative.

Stan Bursten, social sciences representative, had a similar experience when he inquired among the social science faculty.

“Nobody in our division responded [to the inquiry],” Bursten said. “We don’t have any big classes that are going to be helped by having that third summer session.”

In fact, the only representative who said he knew multiple teachers that would want to teach during the proposed summer term was Chris Grant, who represents all part-time faculty at City College on the senate.

“I received 17 responses. Most of them said they weren’t interested, but those that were were a lot of English teachers — they want to teach but sometimes they don’t get the opportunity to,” Grant said.

At one point in the discussion, a senator suggested that the two summer terms currently offered be combined into one term, which would include the six-week classes and some 12-week classes. The suggestion was made because if a 12-week term was added, the registration system would not be able to determine if students were taking over the maximum eight units in a given period of time – a student would be able to take eight units in the first six-week term while simultaneously taking eight units in the 12-week term.

In response, City College Dean Kenley Neufeld said that having a single term would prevent students from taking two sequential courses in the summer.

“Right now you could sign up for [Elementary Algebra] in Summer Session 1 and [Intermediate Algebra] in Summer Session 2,” Neufeld said. “If it was one semester you could not do that.”

Another aspect of the discussion was whether eight or 10-week courses should be offered in the summer instead of twelve-week courses.

“It’s about student equity,” said Melissa Menendez, English representative. “It’s a challenge for some of our students to take a class that’s six weeks because it requires them to commute to City College three or four days out of the week.

“It’s a barrier to students, and eight or 10-week classes would alleviate that barrier.”

It is not currently known how long it would take to program another summer term into the course registration system nor how much it would cost, but the programming would have to be done by the end of July.

The senate will discuss the 2018-2019 academic calendar again at its next meeting on Wednesday, March 21 in Business-Communication Center Room 214. It is scheduled to take place immediately after the 2:30 p.m. Crime Across the Curriculum Faculty Lecture by City College professor Anne Redding in the Garvin Theatre.