Opinion: Session A and B classes aren't for everyone

Just because the classes are shorter doesn't make them easier

When it comes to the option to take a class for 7.5 weeks instead of 15, count students 100 percent in for 50 percent of the time. At least, that's what some students seem to think.

A typical class at ASU runs for 15 weeks. These classes, referred to as Session C classes, are the most common picks for students' schedules, but there is also the option of taking Session A and B courses which are designed to be shorter, running during the first and second half of the semester respectively.

According to ASU's academic calendar, Session A and B classes typically run for about 7.5 weeks. While the sessions are shorter, students should not register for these courses if they only want an easy credit to get them closer to graduation. 

There is a common misconception that since A and B session classes are shorter, they won’t be as difficult. While there may be benefits to taking these shorter classes, they are not as easy as students assume.

Senior Director of Academic Advising at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Casey Self, said that while it depends on the student, “students who would benefit from considering session A and session B courses are students who would rather focus more on one or two classes at a time." 

This allows the students to dedicate more time to a particular subject. Not everyone is capable of piling on a lot of difficult classes at once, so this approach is appealing to someone who might need to put extra effort into a class.

Self also said some students don’t realize that these classes aren’t cut for time. 

Something to consider is that the workload is simply realigned to fit into about 7.5 weeks rather than a typical 15 week semester, which equates to the same amount of work but in half the time.

“It’s just more concentrated time in that class in a shorter amount of time, and that’s the same for the number of assignments," Self said. 

If a student intends to put off all their work until the last few days of the session, it's safe to say they won't fair too well.

When it comes to these condensed courses, it would be more beneficial for a student to take a class that they enjoy. However, some students may take a class they aren't as passionate about to complete in a shorter amount of time to get it out of the way.

Session A and B classes can also be utilized by students who have more on their plate, including jobs, extra curricular activities and internships.

"The traditional student who is also working, they may also benefit from a 7.5 week class if it works into their work hours and overall schedule,” Self said. 

There are many important factors to consider about a student's circumstance as well as the common misconceptions about session A and B classes before registering. 

When spring registration approaches, students should bear in mind that if they want a fastpass to graduation, these sessions aren't it.  

Reach the reporter at dkodonne@asu.edu and follow @Devynnodonnell on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the authors’ and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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