Summer school saves graduation

Seniors can now breathe a sign of relief now that the University is offering summer classes.

A plan implemented by President James Ammons to keep summer school open has provided a way for prospective summer graduates to enroll in core classes.

Aja Watkins, 22, a senior occupational wellness student from Washington D.C., said she never fell into the “hype” of not having summer school until the class she needed wasn’t being offered.

“I almost had to start a petition to walk cross the stage because the class I needed wasn’t available,” Watkins said. “Myself and three of the other students in my major needed a health law class in order to graduate in the spring and to be eligible for the occupational therapy masters program. Fortunately, they were able to find away to offer an online course.”

Watkins said if she did not graduate this summer she would work a full-time job and graduate fall 2008.

James Jeffries, 21, a senior mechanical engineering student from Atlanta, said FAMU has put forth more effort than usual to satisfy the student’s needs.

“After three of my peers and I expressed that we needed an engineering class in order to graduate this summer, our adviser opened up the class with no hesitation,” Jeffries said. “President Ammons is really doing his job and I can appreciate that.”

While some students were concerned about summer school affecting their graduation, one student expressed his financial concern.

Marcus Bourne, 22, a senior accounting student from Philadelphia, said he is happy summer school is a go because he would have had to sign another lease for the fall semester.

“If I had to renew my lease another semester I would be behind financially,” he said.

Bourne said he did not let the summer school scare get the best of him because he “has faith in FAMU.”

“I figured they were going to have summer school because it was a question last year but FAMU came through,” Bourne said. “The class I’m taking is a major course, so I did not stress too much.”

For some departments, budget cuts did not affect summer class availability.

According to Gwen Kelly, the assistant to the interim associate dean of the School of Business and Industry, the school is offering 58 summer courses, four more than last year.

Letina Banks, the coordinator of advisement for the Biology Department, said budget cuts did not affect the amount of classes that are offered for biology students this summer.

“There are 34 classes being offered this summer, which is not a big difference from the 36 classes that were offered last year,” she said.

Although there were more than enough classes being offered, some students had requests for additional courses, according to Banks.

“A lot of students found registration to be quite pleasing because the classes they needed to graduate were already offered,” Banks said. “We allowed others to come to my office or the biology chairperson’s office, Dr. Lekan Latinwo, to voice their concern,” she said.

Banks said because of the open-door policy the biology staff has with its students the process was very successful.

“We tried to accommodate every graduating senior in anyway possible,” Banks said.