Why take a CCNY summer course — to enrich your education!

by Jalesa Tucker

Every year students clamor into counselor offices and furiously select summer courses on their tablets and iPads that will fulfill their degree requirements and propel them forward on the long road to graduation. And this summer plenty of students will sign up for Introduction to Statistics or Sociology, Foundations of Biology or an introductory Spanish course.

But many educators believe that in their haste to move through college efficiently and enter the job market, students miss out on classes that encourage exploration and critical thinking outside of their majors. In his new book “In Defense of a Liberal Education,” CNN’s Fareed Zakaria encourages college students to “range widely, to read widely and to explore their passions.”

With that in mind, CCNY students who would like to enrich their minds in subjects outside of their majors, should consider this year’s expanded array of summer classes.

Advertising/PR student Valentina Padilla hopes to encourage students to take the road less traveled. “By immersing themselves in theses courses students have the chance to build on skills outside their intended major,” says Padilla, a senior, whose Ad/PR workshop group Team Kinetic is promoting Humanities and Arts summer courses as part of a final capstone project.

This summer Humanities and Arts has put together an eclectic line-up of courses, that use New York City as a laboratory, including:

  • The Origins of Hip Hop
  • Teaching Art About #Blacklivesmatter
  • Food & Fashion, Arts & Culture: Covering New York’s Hottest Industries
  • James Baldwin in Harlem
  • Graffiti and Street Art
  • Photographing New York City

Eric D. Weitz, dean of Humanities and Arts, urges students to expand their vision and “find a particular passion, learn a little about everything and a lot about something.”

Many students understand the value of summer courses but worry about the cost, since they are not generally covered by financial aid. English major Janis Jimenez says that taking classes for her personal benefit may be a luxury she cannot afford. “I don’t have the money; I mean I can barely afford the regular classes,” she says. “Because I’m paying tuition on my own, I have to work full time during the summer to make sure I have the money. “

Still, Padilla insists that “outside-of-the-box” courses may pay off down the line. “Taking classes outside a chosen degree program give students the opportunity to outshine other job applicants,” she says. “Students will be able to vary their experience in college and add on to their exercised degree skills when applying to jobs.”