When it comes to May Term, University of Redlands students literally have a world of options.
If they’d like, they can travel abroad with faculty members, taking intensive courses in places like Salzburg, Mexico, Japan, and Cambodia. Or, they can stay on campus, and learn about interesting subjects that might not fit into their normal schedule. In many cases, the students not only earn academic credits, but also community service activity course (CSAC) credit.
This year, Melissa Cornejo ’15 is enrolled in Dr. Piers Britton’s class, “Designing for Doctor Who,” and is excited about the opportunity to study a television program she enjoys.
“I find that May Term sets Redlands apart from many other universities,” she said. “It’s nearly unheard of to take a single course for a month and devote your studies wholeheartedly to one subject, rather than balancing your time between a handful of classes in a normal term. The duration of May Term also gives students the opportunity to explore disciplines outside of their major or emphasis, give back to the community completing a CSAC, and work on more practicum based projects that a typical semester does not always allow for.
She chose Britton’s class in order to explore design in a practical way, rather than a theoretical approach.
“I am also a huge fan of Doctor Who, and attended the 50th Anniversary Celebration in London this fall while I was studying abroad, so that of course influenced my choice,” she said. “I hope to develop my design skills in a hands-on way and broaden my understanding of the work that goes into the production of Doctor Who and other programs.”
Prof. Fran Grace developed her May Term course, “Compassion,” in 2005, as compassion is one of the core teachings of diverse religious traditions. Her students are learning about Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and others, as well as compassion teachings and practices. Like many May Term courses, it also fulfills the CSAC requirement.
“The May Term format gives the opportunity for us to immerse ourselves into a transformative process,” she said.
In the accounting department, sophomores take an intense course during May Term that gives them an idea of what life will be like for them upon graduation, if they choose to go into accounting.
“We teach a course in May that all prospective accounting majors take, and it’s a busy 12 hours a day,” Prof. Laurie Mitchell, director of the accounting program, said. “In addition to learning a lot about accounting, they go through multiple rounds of resume writing, cover letters, and mock interviews with other students and me. We also have a young alumni panel that comes in and talks about what their jobs are like, and they meet with recruiters. You don’t want people figuring it out halfway through their junior year that it isn’t for them. We want them to know by the end of their sophomore year.”
Brittany Oster ’14 wanted to study abroad during her time at Redlands, but because she was a basketball player and majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, knew it would be difficult with her busy schedule. Traveling to Guatemala during May Term her sophomore year allowed her to get the study abroad experience.
“We were mostly volunteering and working in rural areas,” she said. “We were teaching and helping kids at an after-school program. It wasn’t like going to Europe; it was very eye-opening. It was a great experience.”
Posted: May 16, 2014
Written by: Catherine Garcia