MAILED: Jan. 10, 2001
For University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire senior Angela Elsen, spending time in the classroom during her winter break is a very smart thing. Elsen, an art education major from West Salem, rises early each morning to attend a metalsmithing class during Winterim at UW-Eau Claire.
Being able to take this class now was perfect, said Elsen, who is one of more than 1,200 students enrolled in Winterim courses this year. I need this class to graduate in December, and it was the only chance I had to fit it into my schedule.
Elsen said Winterim is the ideal time to take a class. You can totally immerse yourself in what youre working on and concentrate on it for a longer period of time in a way that you cant when you have several courses going on at the same time.
Elsen isnt the only student taking advantage of Winterim classes. Lindsey Saunders, a freshman at UW-Madison, also is spending part of her winter vacation picking up a few extra credits. Saunders, an Eau Claire native, is taking a three-credit social psychology course.
I thought it would be a good use of my time over break, and I knew the class would transfer and meet a requirement for my major, Saunders said. Winterim is a great opportunity to earn extra credits, since there really isnt enough time to pick up a job.
Elsen and Saunders are among a growing number of students taking Winterim courses. Enrollment in the 2001 Winterim session, which runs Jan 2-19, is up 10 percent from the 2000 session at UW-Eau Claire.
Were very pleased with the increase, said Janice Morse, administrative officer for Academic Affairs. Its exciting to see students taking advantage of an opportunity that will help them complete their degrees more quickly. I hope to see those numbers continue to grow in the future.
Students who enroll in Winterim typically want to be on a track that would allow them to graduate earlier than they otherwise could or who are behind in their efforts to earn a degree and are trying to catch up, Morse said.
Fifty-seven courses were offered during 2001 Winterim, up from the 50 offered a year ago. Courses are offered in a variety of disciplines, with most classes meeting every weekday for three hours. Despite the increase in enrollment, class sizes are still relatively small, giving students the attention they need during an intensive course, Morse said.
We continue to add different courses to the offerings each Winterim to provide a comprehensive selection of courses to meet student needs, Morse said, adding that the Winterim offerings also include several courses that are in high demand during the regular academic year.
In response to student requests, campus facilities again are open longer during Winterim session. For example, two restaurants are open this year in Davies Center, computer labs are open longer hours and the McIntyre Library has extended hours to better accommodate the needs of Winterim students, Morse said.
We are working hard to find out what services our Winterim students feel they need and then are trying to meet those needs, Morse said. We continue to hear many positive comments about the services available to students during Winterim.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Jan. 10, 2001