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Summer Sessions' Popularity Soars

With Expanded Catalog and Online Courses, YU Summer School Enrollment Nearly Doubles

Thanks to a unique and expanded catalog of more than 40 summer courses, this year’s summer school sessions at Yeshiva University are enjoying massive success: well over 600 students are taking advantage of opportunities on campus in New York City or joining one of the program’s 10 fully online courses from as far away as Los Angeles or Israel, nearly doubling the previous years’ enrollment. For the first time, that number includes students from other institutions, attracted to YU’s summer program by its combination of access to outstanding faculty, one-of-a-kind courses and flexible schedule.

Students could register for either of two Summer Sessions, held from May 27-June 30 and July 6-August 6.

summerschoolblog5“The dramatic increase in online course enrollment demonstrates that YU students see these courses as great options, and students who attend other colleges and universities have enrolled in YU courses in higher numbers than ever before, demonstrating confidence in the quality and rigor of our education,” said Dr. Selma Botman, provost and vice president of academic affairs at YU. “We are pleased that so many students wish to continue taking classes, making progress toward their degrees and availing themselves of YU faculty and the rich selection of courses they offer.”

Including fully online as well as traditional and blended classes, the courses span majors and disciplines, including the hard and social sciences, business, history, English literature and Judaic studies. All are taught by experts in their fields at Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women and Sy Syms School of Business. The summer program has also been augmented by the resources of YU Global, Yeshiva University’s online initiative.

Program highlights include “Nachmanides on the Pentateuch,” taught by renowned Nachmanides scholar Dr. Michelle Levine, associate professor of Bible at Stern College and “Courts and Social Change,” a fully online political science course featuring lectures from major figures in the field and led by Dr. Akiva Covitz, executive director of YU Global.

Professor Fredy Zypman is teaching "Frontiers in Science" this summer. Professor Fredy Zypman is teaching "Frontiers in Science" this summer.

“Online classes have significant advantages in terms of flexibility, especially in the summer,” said Covitz. “Students can go through the material at their own pace and they have the ability to pause the professor while they take notes or rewind if they miss anything. There’s no travel time to get to class. You can go on vacation and not fall behind. And by taking classes like these in the summer, students free up time during the year for all kinds of things—anything from having more time for new experiences with friends to being able to volunteer or even hit the gym more.”

An online course taught by Dr. Nora Nachumi, associate professor of English, titled “Comedy and Satire,” has been so popular among students Nachumi decided to open another section in the second half of the summer. “We aren't as limited by time and space as we would have been in a typical classroom," said Nachumi. “As a result we are able to work with a variety of media.”

In addition to films and the assigned reading, Nachumi's students watch sitcoms and consider examples of standup, sketch comedy and slapstick. "We're using material from You Tube and Netflix, The Daily Show and The New York Times. Students are incorporating video in their presentations and sharing supplementary information and clips of their favorite comedians in their forum and blog posts."

YU Summer School also offers a host of pre-med classes and graduate school prerequisites that universities and colleges in the Tri-State area don’t frequently make available over the summer, including courses in microbiology, human physiology, chemistry and physics, all featuring hands-on lab classes with close mentoring from professors. That personal touch is one of many advantages summer study at YU offers students from outside institutions: at many universities it would be rare for an undergraduate to encounter the head of a department teaching a foundational course, especially during the summer—but at YU, the summer session of “Frontiers of Science,” a core requirement, is taught by Dr. Fredy Zypman, co-chair of the physics department.

A student working on an assignment in Zypman's lab. A student works on an assignment in Zypman's lab.

“In this course, we have the opportunity to explore science as an endeavor of human inquiry, from classical Greece to modern times,” said Zypman. “We have used this idea to portray advances in medicine, chemistry and astronomy. The questions are similar throughout the ages—how things work, how one can solve practical problems—but the techniques and ideas become more and more sophisticated.”

The program also included business classes that ranged from “Systematic Inventive Thinking” to courses that focused on the principles of marketing, finance, accounting and information systems.

“The best part is that by taking a summer course here in New York City, I was able to take part in an internship at the same time,” said Makena Owens, a senior from Seattle, Washington. “There were many more internship opportunities here in journalism, which is what I want to do, than back home.”