Online ‘minimester’ begins this winter

This year, The University of Alabama will offer a new interim session over the winter break. The newly offered “minimester” comes after requests made to the SGA by students last year suggesting such a session.

“Last year, past SGA members conducted student surveys about the possibility of online winter break courses,” SGA Vice President for Academic Affairs Denzel Evans-Bell said. “Other universities across the country have begun to explore winter break courses with much success.”

Winter Interim provides an opportunity for professors to design courses they are passionate and interested about that may not otherwise be possible in a full semester, and it gives students the opportunity to find a class that is interesting and fulfilling to them.

“This is an opportunity for online and travel courses. Students may have an interest in a particular subject or opportunity that would not otherwise be available to them due to the structure of their degree program,” Brenda Hunter, Associate University Registrar, said. “More importantly students may wish to complete a course applicable to their degree program that would allow them to move forward in their respective programs.”

For Colin Whitworth, a first-year master’s student in communication studies, Winter Interim provided an opportunity to take an interesting class and draw something very beneficial out of it.

“My thesis advisor, Robin Boylorn is teaching a great cross-listed course over the minimester on Black Women in Film, so I obviously found out from her, and that’s what I am taking,” Whitworth said. “I actually plan on using the course to boost my writing — and hopefully publishing — portfolio within my field.”

There are 10 courses being offered, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, and Winter Interim is available to all colleges for course offering. A student can enroll in one course, and most classes will run Dec. 17 through Jan. 8.

Winter Interim is considered part of the spring semester, and as such, the credit hours earned during the minimester will count towards the 18-hour maximum for the spring semester.

“The per hour tuition cost for Winter Interim will be $395 for undergraduate residents, $420 for graduate residents, and $770 for law residents; thus, the tuition for three hours credit will be $1,185, $1,260, and $2,310 respectively,” according to the UA Interim Terms website.

Students sign up for Winter Interim classes through by myBama under the “Spring II” course listing.

“I like the interim and ‘winterim’ classes, as I have been calling them, because it seems to me that it allows the professors to really teach something they enjoy, that may be a stretch to work on for a full semester, but still gives students credit for their work in those areas as well,” Whitworth said. “Overall, I think any time the University is able to offer unique and interesting classes within our faculty’s passions — it’s always a good thing.”