First winter intersession draws more than 400 students

More than 400 Northern Kentucky University students braved the weather and holiday season traffic to attend winter intersession classes from Dec. 20 to Jan. 7.

It was the first time NKU offered a three-week intersession class during winter break.

Because of the heavy snowfall and poor road conditions Dec. 22 and 23, classes were cancelled.

“Mother Nature didn’t cooperate with us,” said Gail Wells, vice president of academic affairs and provost, “but all of the classes were able to make up the time they lost. Some provided online instruction and assignments.”

Each course was worth three credits, and students were allowed to take one class during the break because of the three hours they spent in class and the amount of work required for them.

There were different reasons behind the university’s decision to offer winter break classes.

“The intent was to offer classes for students to take when they may not be productive otherwise and be able to graduate in a more timely fashion,” Wells said.

“There were not a significant number of students who dropped out,” Wells said.

“We’re getting very positive comments from the professors who say that the students who were there were very committed to the classes and getting the work done.”

Not everyone shared Wells’ positive outlook on the way the intersession went.

Dean of Education, Elaine Jarchow, taught secondary school in film, which was a first time class.

“I enjoyed it very much,” she said. “We studied films like ‘Dangerous Minds’ and ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’, and made booklets for teachers.

“I think it would be more effective over a longer period of time, say eight weeks or so, spread it out more.

“We’re still waiting for the evaluations from students, but I think they appreciated it.”