Students created a summer of success

A summer session student works on figure painting. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

Over 11,000 students made progress on their academic plans, taking steps toward graduation thanks to Summer Session courses. 

This summer, students enrolled in more than 70,000 UC Santa Cruz credits across departments and colleges and through the one-credit Slug Orientation course. Support for the growth of Summer Session was a campuswide initiative for 2020-21, and participation continues to be a contributing factor to positive student outcomes. Over a quarter of our degree-seeking undergraduates use summer to make progress.

Three Year Pathways developed to utilize summer fuel UCSC ranking of the second highest three-year graduation rate in the UCs, 1 in 12 of 2018-entering first year students.

This summer, our Senate Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) authorized course sponsors to determine instructional modality of their summer courses. This allowed course sponsoring agencies to focus on providing a mix of in-person, remote, and online courses. This delegation came with concern for increased housing costs and the desire to support students in minimizing their time to degree. The mix of undergraduate course modalities provided students with access to more of the courses that they needed.

Returning this summer, one of the university’s most important experiential learning programs, Global Seminars, ran nine UC Santa Cruz courses around the world with 125 students participating.

We are excited we could accommodate so many Slugs in different situations for their needs,” said Monica Parikh, director of summer session. “We’ve heard directly from students that our flexibility during these unique few months let them take part in a huge diversity of opportunities like study abroad, service learning and field studies, upper divisions and senior seminars, prereqs, general education, and independent studies.” Parikh also learned many summer faculty who would have otherwise been unable to teach, were able to due the versatility of department discretion for instruction mode. 

Other programs with high attendance included Summer Edge for those newly admitted to start their UCSC education before fall. Over 400 took summer classes; surveys indicate 96% of first-year students and 100% of transfer students would recommend starting with Summer Edge to next year’s new Slugs.

Since adding online and remote courses, our pre-college High School Summer University program continues to grow in popularity. Over 220 students earned valuable UC credits, an over 20% increase over last year.

On December 9, the Summer 2023 courses will be listed at for everyone to warm up to summer this winter.