By Bianca Chan

Sleeping in. Going on hikes. Road trips. Online lectures? One of these does not seem to fit with the others – but it could! Taking online courses during the summer has a myriad of benefits for students. Why wouldn’t you enjoy the break while loading up or catching up on some credits? Maybe you want to try a new course that you won’t have time for during the fall and winter semesters. Before you write off summer classes, think about these perks of taking a summer course with Carleton University OnLine.

  1. Online courses offer more flexibility.

Online summer school instructors typically structure their online classrooms more loosely – for example, if there’s a discussion board post or cuPortfolio reflection due, you’re more likely to get a day or two to respond, rather than having to be present “in class” at a certain time every week.

  1. Stay on track for graduation.

Switched your major partway through school? Interning? Students stray from their four-year plans for several reasons – but online summer classes are a great opportunity to catch up.

  1. Free up your fall or winter semesters.

Enrolling in online summer courses can be strategic. If you know you’re in for a busy semester with comprehensive courses and heavy workloads, or your agenda will be bursting with part-time work schedules and social commitments, lighten your load and fulfill your degree requirements during the summer.

  1. Try something new.

Scheduling for the fall and winter semesters can be tight, filling up with your major and minor requirements. Summer online classes give you a chance to discover different subjects. University is about experimenting, after all!

  1. Fewer academic distractions.

With part-time classes during the summer months, you’ll have more time to focus on those notoriously demanding classes and actually have time to watch all of the lectures and do all of the readings.

  1. Take a course from anywhere.

Planning on heading to the cottage for your summer vacation? You might not have to sacrifice your existing plans. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can take a CUOL course from anywhere.

  1. Learn at a fast-pace, but in a relaxed atmosphere

Summer courses are accelerated, which means that you can gain the same credits in less time. Plus, everything is better – even income tax fundamentals – when you do it in the sunshine! CUOL offers accelerated summer sessions from May to August, as well as early summer sessions from May to June and late summer sessions from July to August.

  1. Typically smaller class sizes.

Online courses over the summer are typically smaller, which means more student-professor interaction and availability. This is especially advantageous if you’re just getting used to online courses or the accelerated pace of summer school and need more guidance navigating online classes.

  1. Keep your brain active.

When a muscle isn’t being used frequently and consistently, it can lose strength. Your brain is no exception. Taking a class over the summer will help to keep your critical and analytical skills moving and working, which will also help keep that September summer lag away.

  1. Enjoy more than ever before.

Whether you’re in first year or fourth, or if you’re considering online summer courses to make up for a failed course or to get ahead, CUOL gives you the opportunity to achieve your goals and try out new things with more comprehensive opportunities and courses offered than ever before. Browse our summer 2017 offerings here.

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