More than 200 students have taken advantage of Southern Arkansas University’s five-week fall intersession, which offers a variety of courses allowing students to earn credits over the winter break.
Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU, said the 2020 fall schedule was adjusted for COVID, ending in November but presenting a great opportunity for an intersession during December. Many of the classes offer three credit hours of instruction but are accelerated due to the shortened time period, similar to summer school.
Intersession runs through Dec. 31. All courses are offered online.
Anna Grace Langston, of El Dorado, is taking Nutrition and Diet, Anatomy and Physiology I, and Anatomy and Physiology I Lab during the intersession. A member of the Mulerider Cheer Squad, Langston decided to take these courses to fast-track her degree plan by a whole semester.
“These courses alongside the concurrent credits I earned in high school will allow me to start the SAU Nursing Program in the fall of 2021,” she said. “I started the fall semester at SAU as a freshman, but because of the ability to take intersession classes, I will start the spring semester as a sophomore!”
She said she has been blessed to receive an intersession scholarship thanks to the SAU Foundation and its gracious donors.
“I think that the intersession is a great way for students to earn extra credit hours without piling them onto a normal semester,” Langston said.
“I appreciate SAU making the intersession available to us,” said Virginia Harman, a Master of Public Administration candidate residing in Colorado. “Taking advantage of the intersession allowed me to get ahead of schedule on my work towards earning my MPA. The compressed schedule is a great way to do a deep dive into a single class or two. I look forward to enrolling in future intersessions.”
Dr. David Lanoue, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said SAU offered a smaller fall intersession in the past with only a few courses available. However, with the longer winter break due to the pandemic, “We are able to provide a more robust offering this year. This is a great chance for students to get classes they need to stay on track.”
Students can benefit from intersession courses to increase their total number of credit hours, which is often a requirement of maintaining a scholarship. Intersession is also an opportunity to take a class which may not have fit into the student’s schedule previously or to complete a necessary prerequisite before the next semester begins.