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Winterim classes move students toward graduation more quickly

Students are taking more than 150 different classes — some on campus and some online — during the January three-week Winterim 2015 session at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The three-week session runs Jan. 5-23.

Winterim classes give students a chance to explore interesting subjects, discover new interests, immerse themselves in other parts of the world, take hard-to-get classes, and move toward graduation more quickly. Class sizes often are small during Winterim, giving students even more opportunity to interact with faculty.

"I was able to finish some important prerequisites at a faster pace — and sooner than if I had taken them during a regular semester," said Charlie Erickson, who graduated in December with a degree in public relations.

Scheduling high-demand classes during a typical semester can be challenging for many students, who often run into conflicts when trying to fit particular courses into their schedules.

During past Winterim sessions, Erickson enrolled in a communication and journalism class and an accounting class, both classes required for his major that fill up quickly during the fall and spring semesters.

"Classes that are prerequisites for admittance to a degree program, like Accounting 201, fill up very quickly," Erickson said. "By taking them during Winterim, I didn't have to worry about trying to fit them in during the regular semester."

Winterim classes also can be a strategic move for students striving to graduate more quickly, said Erickson, who graduated a year earlier than he had expected.

"When I transferred to UW-Eau Claire and declared my major and minor, my adviser told me I would graduate in four years," Erickson said. "I did it in six semesters because I took Winterim and summer courses. Ultimately, it cost me less in terms of time and money, and I couldn't be more thankful that UW-Eau Claire offers these options."

Nearly half of the Winterim classes are offered online this year, providing students who are away from campus in January a chance to earn credits and take needed courses.

The on-campus and hybrid courses (combined online content with in-class meeting time) also give students who attend other campuses but are in the Chippewa Valley during January a chance to earn credits that they can transfer to their home institution.

In recent years, a number of faculty have led domestic and international immersion experiences during Winterim, giving students opportunities to do research or participate in other high-impact projects while immersed in new cultures.

More information about Winterim classes is available online or by calling 715-836-2425.