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Winterim classes keep students on track to graduate on time

| Juana Moya

You log on to MyBlugold CampS in hopes of having a stress-free experience registering for your semester classes. You head to your shopping cart and as soon as you see that devious little blue square next to the title of a course you need, your hands begin to clam up.

The course is closed.

Before you curl up in the corner of your room and rock back and forth, keep in mind that you have other options — like Winterim.

Signing up for high-demand classes during the Winterim session is just one of the perks of taking a winter class.  

With more than 200 courses offered during the Winterim 2016 session at UW-Eau Claire, chances are good that students will find a class that fits their needs.

The three-week session, which will run from Jan. 4-22, offers courses ranging from "Introduction to the Religions of the World," a popular humanities course offered throughout the year, to "Politics of Latin America," which only is offered during Winterim.

This variety of courses allows students to explore new interests, be immersed in other world cultures and to take classes that are hard to get during the semester.

Reduce number of classes during regular semester

During the fall and spring semesters, it can be tough for students to get into high-demand classes that they need to stay on track toward graduation.

And fitting in prerequisite classes needed for high-level courses also can be a challenge for students who want to graduate on time while keeping their class load manageable.

Taking those classes during Winterim eliminates that stress, and helps students better manage their class loads during fall and spring semesters.

Courtney Schallock, a senior English education major, looked to Winterim to lighten her class load during the regular semesters, while also continuing to move toward graduation.

“I didn't want to ever have a semester with more than 18 credits and I knew I wanted to graduate in four years, so that meant I had to take two Winterim classes and a summer class,” Shallock says.

Pay Winterim tuition now, save money later

While students pay tuition and fees for Winterim classes, it’s a wise investment if their Winterim classes move them toward graduation more quickly.

Adding an extra semester to their college career means paying additional tuition and fees, as well as housing and other expenses.

So the investment up front can save them a lot of money in the long run.

“I had to pay $1,800 for Winterim classes, but for me it was worth it to be able to graduate in four years instead of the four-and-a-half years that it often takes students with my major to graduate,” says Schallock.

Innovative experiences in and outside the classroom

Taking a Winterim class also means smaller class sizes, more interaction with faculty and closer collaborations with classmates.

Schallock says the increased interaction she found in her Winterim classes was a huge bonus.

“Students interacted with each other more and the professor did a lot more with us than just lecture,” Schallock says. “It was more discussion based.”

Winterim also is a time that faculty offer innovative classes that often take students far outside the boundaries of the campus.

Immersion, service projects and research are regularly incorporated into Winterim classes.

These faculty-led outside-the-classroom experiences often allow students to earn credits, gain research experience or earn service hours while immersed in the community or in diverse areas of the United States or the world.

Stay home (and warm!)

Many Winterim classes are offered online, making them appealing to current Blugolds who aren’t so anxious to venture to an on-campus class during the often frigid weeks of January.

The online option also allows Blugolds who are away from Eau Claire during the winter break to continue to earn credits, moving them toward graduation even when they are physically away from campus.

The online classes also give students who attend other universities or non-degree seeking students opportunities to take UW-Eau Claire classes that meet their needs or interests.

Registration for Winterim courses will continue through Jan. 4.

More Information about UW-Eau Claire Winterim courses and registration can be found online or by calling 715-836-2425.