NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Are summer classes a good option?

During the summer, NECC offers three different summer class sessions that allow students to take extra classes, some on their own time, and lighten their load in the normal school year. However, some students value their summer as time to get away from all classes.

The regular semesters at NECC are in the fall, winter, and there is even a winter intersession semester in between.

That being said, summer classes are available at NECC. There is a session from May to June, July to August, and a longer one that lasts May to August.

These summer classes are available asynchronous, in person, or online with meeting times. Some students love and utilize the summer courses, while others prefer to spend their summer away from the classroom.

Olivia Hansen enjoys the summer classes because she has more time in the summer, so she can focus more on her classes then in the normal school year.

Hansen is a biology major, so she has to take heavier courses like biology, chemistry, and calculus. She is constantly busy in the year with other classes, commitments, and events like chorus and piano. In the summer, besides her summer job at a summer camp, she has plenty of time on her hands to take classes that she couldn’t handle during the other semesters.

“In the summer I chose to take asynchronous classes that are harder, so I can allot more time to work on them. I found that if I spend just a little bit of my days doing school, I still have plenty of time to work and do fun summer things.”

A question posed to Hansen was “do you feel like classes take away from your summer?”

Hansen answered with no. She thinks that putting in just a little everyday makes for a light load. Without the full structure of school, just one or two classes a session doesn’t feel like too much for her. She also points out, for her at least, that taking summer classes helps ease the transition into the fall semester where there is a much heavier load. She is already in the routine of school by then, so she doesn’t get overwhelmed when the summer ends.

However, other students such as Cassidy Smith don’t choose to take summer classes because they want to spend their summer with school out of sight. Smith is a busy psychology major during the school year.

She spends her summer at her restaurant job for a little, but for the most part likes to relax, read, and enjoy the time off. “I could take classes in the summer if I wanted to, but I don’t want to add any stress to my summer. I enjoy having the time off to reset and relax after the crazy spring semester.”

This is a very understandable route to take; people cherish their summer, so why would they voluntarily “ruin” that with summer classes? When asked about her workload in the normal school year, Smith says she doesn’t mind having the extra class that she decided to take in the fam/spring instead of summer. At that point, she is immersed into the school environment, so adding another class doesn’t feel out of place like a summer class would.

Last but not least, there are students like Gianna Mckeown who have taking summer classes as their only option.

While Mckeown is not majoring in anything, she is still taking classes. As a dual enrollment student, her school year is busy enough as is with her high school classes on top of what she chooses to take at NECC.

But, being a 16 year old high school student without a license, she is unable to make many classes during the fall and spring semesters. Classes like chemistry labs are available in person only, which is new after COVID, during the high school hours.

Although she may not want to, to take the classes she needs, she needs to spend a few weekdays in the summer going to classes she couldn’t take at any other time without a license and in high school.

“It is frustrating that these labs aren’t offered online, but it is understandable because it is a truly hands-on class that would be best executed online. However, I do wish that these labs were offered later in the day in the school year. I would take them then.”

So for students like Mckeown, while not ideal, summer classes are the only option.