The Christmas Session at BYU-Idaho provides an opportunity for students to complete a course in a short period of time, helping them to graduate earlier, said Shane Goodwin, a Religion Department professor.
According to the Continuing Education Department, the Christmas Session is from Dec. 23 to Jan. 4. Classes will meet Dec. 23, 26-30 and Jan. 2-4.
“The Christmas Session is an opportunity for students and members of the community to take a class or two over the Christmas break,” said Robert Wahlquist, a Religion Department professor. “You get a semester’s worth of course work done in two weeks.”
Wahlquist said Christmas Session is not for everybody.
“You have to be 100 percent committed to the idea. You’re going to work really hard for a small number of days,” Goodwin said. “It needs to be a personal kind of fit. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to do it unless they had the time, the motivation and the commitment.”
Goodwin said that if students plan to do other time-consuming activities during the break, then they shouldn’t take a class during the Christmas Session.
“The classes need to meet the university requirement for time spent in class, so the classes are generally three to five hours each day,” Wahlquist said. “I think it’s a marvelous experience to sit down for a cole of hours each day and really get into the subject.”
Jason Hunt, a biology professor, said that some students will find themselves with four or five hours of homework outside of class and that students need to be careful and mature enough to not get burned out.
“I think this is an opportunity to get more mature students to come,” Hunt said. “The students are at a different level. Students should be a little bit more serious in trying to get more schooling done in a shorter period of time.”
Wahlquist said he has seen international students take classes during the Christmas session, and most of the students that he taught have been married students who want to do something productive with their time.
“The Christmas session allows for the month of December to not be a lazy month,” Wahlquist said. “It allows for those that do take classes during that time to still grow and learn as a student.”
Hunt said students will be learning the same material that they would learn if they took the course during a regular-length semester.
“Department chairs and the Continuing Education Department listen to students to figure out what classes should be offered,” Goodwin said. “You usually need about ten students to sign for the class for it to be taught.”
Wahlquist said the classes can seem intense because they are condensed.
Goodwin said the Math Department likes to interview students that want to take a math class during the Christmas Session to make sure that they know what they are getting into, and will be able to perform well.
“You need to be serious from the very beginning,” Goodwin said. “You don’t want to get an “F” over the Christmas break. That would be anti-Christmas spirit.”
According to the Continuing Education Department, FDREL 325: Doctrine and Covenants and FDCNC 350: Foundations Capstone will be offered during the 2013 Christmas Session.
More information about the Christmas Session can be found at www.byui.edu/continuing-education.