Summer Breeze

Colleges in Tennessee realize that unused capacity in the summer could be used to help students graduate sooner.  ETSU has valued summer for some time now, employing an entrepreneurial model that has seen summer enrollments grow for the past few years.  To help grow summer programs, the legislature may allow HOPE funds to be used year round.  From The Tennessean.

It’s summertime, and the campuses of Tennessee’s colleges and universities are emptying out.

In Knoxville, campus population drops from a bustling 27,000-plus to a sleepy 5,700. In Murfreesboro, Middle Tennessee State University goes from a student body of 25,000 or so to around 8,600.

Summer semester means a lot of empty buildings on campus, and a lot of empty space in students’ academic calendars.

“We have a really underutilized campus in the summer,” said Debra Sells, vice president for student affairs at MTSU. “The feedback we get from our students is that they want to take summer courses.”

Hoping to fill that space, and speed more students toward graduation day, the Tennessee legislature is debating a bill this week that would allow students to use their HOPE lottery scholarships for summer school tuition, while colleges and universities move independently to beef up their summer school offerings.

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