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A Web Letter from the Office of the Provost - April 2022

By Mary Jane Chew

Looking ahead: Summer Session to set new attendance record

The sleepy, slow days of summer are officially a thing of the past on the Purdue West Lafayette campus. According to John Gipson, executive director for Summer Session,  enrollment for this summer’s session is up by 20 percent over 2021 with more than 15,900 students currently registered for well-over 82,800 credit hours. Gipson adds that 2022 participation is even up over the last “pre-pandemic” summer session in 2019 – by at least 2,000 students, confirming that the popularity of summer courses continues to grow.

“We are seeing more students who want to take advantage of summer offerings to make room for internships or other experiential learning opportunities,” said Gipson. “Students want to fit in as much real-world learning as possible during their time at Purdue and summer courses provide that flexibility.”

Summer sessions at Purdue West Lafayette include Early Start, a program for recent high school graduates who want to jumpstart their Purdue career mid-summer.

According to Gipson, this summer, there will be 28 on-campus courses and more than 300 fully online options available to students participating in Early Start.  Last year, more than 1,000 students started in the summer instead of waiting until August.

Summer is also an important time for participants from the  Emerging Leaders Scholars program. Sydney Moeller, a current sophomore in the College of Science completed Early Start as an Emerging Leaders Scholar in 2020.  

"Being a part of the early start program was an amazing opportunity that helped me get ahead in almost every aspect,” said Moeller. “It was a great way to experience the rigor of Purdue classes without taking a full schedule, learn about and adjust to being on my own at college, and make fun memories with new friends!"

Summer Stay Scholars is an on-campus summer scholarship program for undergraduate students that combines coursework with a research or internship experience. Gipson anticipates there will be 100 students participating this year. 

At the other end of the pipeline, Summer College for High School Students allows high school students to earn credit at Purdue. They can earn up to seven credits a summer as non-degree students and will take classes alongside current students.  So far, Purdue has received more than 1,600 applications for summer 2022.

Gipson adds that more than 150 students from Purdue Polytechnic High School have applied to earn credit this summer and that 29 percent of participants in the summer sessions have identified as underrepresented minorities and 16 percent as Black or African American, helping to fulfill goals set by the Equity Task Force.