Better News About the Summer Session

For the first time since 2010, we can report that summer session enrollments are running slightly ahead of the year to date pace from a comparable time last year. We are hopeful that this encouraging trend will continue. In addition to reporting some enrollment facts, the rest of this piece will review some of the basic policies we will be following with regard to faculty compensation for nine-month and adjunct faculty with respect to their summer session teaching.

There are currently 176 courses listed on the summer schedule, which is just about the same number we started with last summer. While many courses are showing healthy enrollments, and several classes have already closed, there are others that are not yet at the enrollment minimum necessary to keep the course on the schedule, which is 7 students (the same as it has been for several years now).

Leading the way in terms of enrollment success are fully online courses. Most of the 43 fully online summer courses are in strong demand. This total of online courses is up from the 38 offered in summer 2015 and the 23 that were on the summer 2014 schedule. Thirty-nine of the 43 courses have already met the required minimum enrollment target and 8 courses are already closed. The online courses spread across all five of UMW’s separate summer terms. Eighteen (18) separate subject disciplines are represented. Each college is offering fully online classes.

Final decisions about whether a course will run or be canceled are made two weeks prior to the start of the summer session. The College of Education’s graduate term starts on May 9. All other terms except for the June/July session start on May 16. The June/July session starts on June 20. Cancellations for low enrollment typically take place two weeks before the start of the summer term, though occasionally courses with very low enrollment are cancelled earlier, in order to allow students and faculty to plan appropriately.  Faculty and students are notified prior to the cancelation of any course. Our goal in building the summer course schedule has been to offer courses with a strong chance of making so that we could avoid having to cancel a large number of classes. Canceling summer courses is frustrating to students who have planned to take a course they need and then come to discover that they either have to select a different course or abandon summer coursework. Canceling summer courses is also damaging to faculty who spend time and effort in planning a course only to have those efforts go for naught. In summer 2104, we canceled 37 courses. In summer 2015, the number canceled was 27. We hope to do even better this year.

Last summer brought back payment of stipends for faculty supervising summer individual studies and internships, a practice that was suspended over 15 years as a result of a budget deficit that affected the summer session in the year 2000. Faculty on nine-month contracts who supervised internships and individual studies during the summer session are now paid as follows:

  • Internships — $75 per student credit hour
  • Undergraduate Individual Studies (including URES projects) — $150 per student credit hour
  • Graduate Individual Studies — $250 per credit hour

These amounts were more than double the rate of compensation paid previously.

Individual studies go by a variety of names (such as historical research, directed study, senior project, etc.). All instances involving credit-bearing student research and internships under the guidance, mentorship, or direction of a sponsoring faculty member are eligible for the individual study/internship payment. Faculty compensation is based on the total student credit hours of those who complete the experience and receive final grades. Last summer, a total of 62 faculty members received compensation for supervising a total of 386 student credit hours of individual study and internships. By comparison, in summer session 2000, just 132 total credit hours were registered in the summer.

Full details regarding the compensation practices followed for summer session teaching are outlined in the UMW Summer Session Compensation Policy, which is unchanged from the practices followed last summer.




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