UC Santa Cruz summer session has special option for those over 55

Summer classes at UC Santa Cruz are open to all, but those 55 and older have an especially sweet deal.

For just $25, these nontraditional students may purchase a Summer Senior Audit Card allowing them to sit in on summer session courses as often as they wish, pending approval by the instructor.

Even better, these students may participate in class discussions, ask questions, and participate in other course activities, but do not submit papers or take exams. They also don't receive grades or credit for the courses.

"The instructors like the added perspective of older students, and the community members enjoy the classes," said Patricia Vani, Summer Session director. "The summer auditors can come and go as they please," she said, noting that many check the syllabus to see which lectures look the most interesting.

Psychology, literature, legal studies, and sociology courses are especially popular with the senior auditors, Vani said. Courses not generally open to auditors are science labs, foreign languages, art courses, and most courses with an enrollment limit, noted in the course catalog. Vani said about 30 people each summer take part in the auditing program.

Those wishing to become Summer Senior Auditors may apply online at http://summer.ucsc.edu/registration.html or print out the online application form at http://summer.ucsc.edu/seniorauditapp.html and send it with proof of age and $25 in check or money order (payable to UC Regents) or a credit card number to UCSC Summer Session, 140 Hahn Student Services Building, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. The Summer Senior Audit Card will be mailed back along with the Summer Session 2006 Catalog and additional instructions.

Summer session enrollment for all ages at UC Santa Cruz is expected to be about 3,500 this summer, with more than 200 courses offered. "Enrollment usually goes up about 10 percent each year," Vani said.

New this year is an art class in printmaking, an improvisational theater class, and an online course on Shakespeare called "Hamlet Conundrums." The most popular summer course, though, is organic chemistry, which filled up in three days. "That's the class that students need," said Vani.

Summer students have several options, with the first summer session running from June 26 to July 28. The second session runs July 31 to September 1, and there is also an intensive eight-week Spanish class, a seven-week course, 10-week courses, and independent field courses for undergraduates. Registration for sessions beginning in June is due by June 23. Late registration-with a $50 late fee-ends June 30. Registration for the second session is due by July 28.

Additional information is available by calling (831) 459-2524 or checking the summer session web site at http://summer.ucsc.edu/index.html