Though many of its traditional students have already returned home for the summer, Columbia's campus will stay busy during the next three months. Dozens of academic courses, professional conferences and unique programs will bring thousands of people to the Morningside campus over the next three months to pursue their individual goals and enjoy the city.
As of May 28 -- the starting date for the summer's first six-week course session -- 2,200 students had enrolled in over 150 classes ranging from "The Middle Ages in Film" and "Introduction to the New Testament" to "Romantic Love in Western Literature" and "International Monetary Theory and Policy." Registration of Barnard College, Columbia College and General Studies students was up by 13 percent from last summer while the number of visitors from other colleges increased by 17 percent.
Several courses specifically take advantage of the New York location, introducing students, for instance, to the structures, sites and symbols of the city's architecture as well as Broadway and off-Broadway theatre events. An intensive elementary German language class draws on the German heritage in New York and includes visits to museums such as Ellis Island Immigrant Museum and the Jewish Museum, while an intensive Intermediate Italian class visits Italian-American neighborhoods as well the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view Italian paintings.
"The summer session presents a great opportunity for Columbia students as well as visitors to work intensively on one or two courses in classes which are typically much smaller than their academic-year counterparts," says Frank Wolf, dean of Continuing Education and Special Programs. "Summer Session students regularly report a very high level of satisfaction with their summer courses which are taught by Columbia faculty, visiting faculty and advanced graduate students. The combination of Columbia rigor and the informality of summer is a spectacular mix."
In addition to the two six-week summer class sessions, other Continuing Education offerings include the Postbaccalaureate TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certificate Program, an 18-point program leading to a TESOL Certificate of Professional Achievement. Students may complete the program in a single, intensive, 8-week summer session and leave prepared to teach English as a second or foreign language in the United States or abroad.
The American Language Program also offers two consecutive four-week intensive sessions followed by a three-week session in the English language in late May, June and July. Students may enroll in one, two, or all three sessions, and also visit various cultural sites in New York City. Each Summer Institute features a special intensive course for advanced full-time students, attracting many students who intend to pursue graduate studies in the United States. Several new summer study programs include Arabic language, dance, Russian language and even a field study abroad in France, though current students can participate in various overseas summer programs in China and Germany as well.
High school students will also descend on the Morningside campus. During July and August, more than 800 teenagers from all over the world will attend the summer program for high school students to get their first taste of college life. The students choose from more than 20 special courses with curricular options in the arts, mathematics and science, computer science, social sciences, and college preparatory courses, immersing themselves in a specific subject during the course of a month while enjoying the cultural benefits of the city. And from June 23-38, the Scholastic Press Association will host its 21st Summer Institute, a one-week workshop for high school newspaper and yearbook staffs and advisers.
Professionals from various fields have an opportunity as well to participate in various conferences on campus. Teachers College, for example, will host June conferences around themes like "The Virtual University: Academic and Corporate Conference," "Teacher Education in a Digital Age" and "New Enterprise Leadership for a Digital Age." The Graduate School of Journalism offers its annual Columbia Publishing Course from June 24 until August 2 for editors and writers as well as training workshops for journalists from developing countries.
Other professional development courses include Continuing Education's two information technology programs, which continue during the summer. The Executive Information Technology Management (EITM) program -- a one-year certificate program -- prepares experienced IT professionals for management positions where students learn how to manage software development and staff performance, integrate theory with practice through real-world case studies and gain a business perspective on technology management. And the hands-on, in-depth certificate program, Computer Technology and Applications (CTA) will continue its courses for adults interested in professional advancement in the information systems field.
In other words, the pace on Columbia's campus is not likely to slow down over the summer months. Add the many academic and special programs to specific construction and renovation plans scheduled for numerous buildings around campus and you'll find summer days at the University anything but lazy. As Flo Grant, departmental administrator for campus security for the past 20 years, says, "Summer is very transient around here. It's a different set of challenges because it's extremely busy. There's constant activity but it's a wonderful and exciting time."