Accelerating Graduation and Building Stronger Connections Through Rowan’s Summer Classes

Richard Ricks touches a tree.

Today, we meet Richard Ricks, a senior biological sciences major on a pre-vet track, from Burlington, NJ (Burlington County), here to talk about his experience with taking summer classes at Rowan and how it’s been beneficial to him.  

This summer Richard completed Organic Chemistry, Physics II, (both online) and Plant Diversity (in person) summer classes at Rowan to help fulfill requirements for his major, expand his knowledge on his field, and help get himself closer to graduation.

Richard writes in his notebook sitting outside on a chair.

He says that he also finds summer classes to be beneficial because of the increased access to professors, who typically have a much less busy teaching schedule in the summer, but are still working in their subject fields. About his professors, Richard says, “I would say since there’s less students inside of these classes, you can contact your professors more. You get to ask them more questions and you can get answers from them without worrying about them being too busy with other classes, so since they have less classes to worry about, they can just focus on students in your class.”

Richard also talks about the importance of a faster learning pace and closer connections with his professors and classmates: “Personally to me, I think they’re better than the classes throughout the year, mainly because you can build more connections with the other classmates and the professor. And more importantly to me, they’re faster paced.” Additionally, he touches on how his summer classes have been especially accommodating and helpful in assisting with his needs: “I have a reading disability and ADHD. But since I have a more connected bond with the professors or other classmates, I could talk to them easily and they’re not really doing much other than that class, just like how I’m doing it. So that makes it easier.”

Richard walks outside past the fountains on Rowan Boulevard.

To Richard, taking summer classes means more than just ensuring you graduate on time:  “The biggest benefit is not just the graduation part, but more exclusive summer classes open up, which you can take depending on your major, and it could be really really fun to do. You’re doing something that’s part of your major or more inclined to your major and that you want to do, and you can actually be more expressive and free.”

As for his advice to any Profs potentially considering taking a summer class or two in the future, here’s what Richard has to say: “Do it, a hundred percent. Do it. As much as you can. You can take however many classes you want in the summer and it won’t negatively affect you. It makes your life so much easier.”

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Story by: Connor Bicknell, senior communication studies major