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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 16, 2023

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UK proposes taking classes over break

This winter, University of Kentucky students could spend their holiday break eating bon-bons or they could watch war movies, find the perfect mate or spend a week in New York.

And get school credit.UK is unveiling its first winter intersession, a compressed semester to help students pack in a few more credits so that more of them will graduate within four years.

“This is very popular at other schools,” said Philip Greasley, dean of University Extension. “This becomes one more means for a student to stay on track for a four-year graduation, and it gives students the opportunity to become immersed in a single, interesting course.”

The 16 classes offered in the upcoming sessions will be worth three credits each and cost $192 a credit.

Although classes will meet for four hours a day from Dec. 20 to Jan. 11 and include weighty topics like Shakespeare, philosophy and modern agriculture, Greasley also describes the classes as enrichment.

In particular, there will be an interdisciplinary course taught by music, visual art and theater professors on contemporary arts in New York City. Students will start out by studying different themes found throughout the New York arts world. Then in January, the entire class will head to New York to visit museums and attend plays and opera. There are additional fees because of the travel.

“This is going to be one of those opportunities of a lifetime that brings together intense learning through experience,” said Diana Hallman, a music professor.

The most popular course offered in intersession so far is “Finding the Perfect Mate,” taught by family studies professor Gregory Brock.

Nearly 150 students have signed up for the course, which will be offered over the Internet.

“I thought long and hard about what kind of course would appeal to students,” Brock said.

“Other cultures do mate selection and partner finding, so it’s always interesting to students.”

But he warned, “it’s not a dating service class; it’s a topic people can apply to their lives. It’s not designed to be a Dear Abby kind of thing.”

English professor Armando Plats is writing a book on the Vietnam War in film, so the topic “Hollywood in War,” was not only on his mind but extremely topical as well.

His students will watch films in the morning, take a break, then discuss them in the afternoon. The movies will follow a chronological trail, from Paths of Glory to Sands of Iwo Jima to Apocalypse Now, probably ending with Black Hawk Down.

UK is running this first intersession as a pilot program. There needs to be enough enrollment for the program to break even. But it also helps the administration, which recently launched a graduation contract that promises more help to get students finished in four years. About 380 students have enrolled so far but UK is still accepting students for the session.

The idea came along just in time for Alison Montoya.

“I need to get my credits done so I can graduate in May, without taking 18 hours next semester,” said the broadcast major senior.

She chose Brock’s class because it was a 300 level and above, which she needed, and it’s on the Internet, which will allow her to travel during her break. Now, of course, she’s also interested in the topic.

“I think the whole idea is wonderful, it gives students chance to graduate on time,” she said. “Plus, some students get bored over the Christmas break so it gives them something extra to do.”

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