The pros and cons of winter courses

El Camino College’s wide range of support services and resources will continue to be offered for students during the winter semester, beginning on Jan. 5, 2023.

Available both online and in-person, these resources include counseling, mental health materials, The Special Resource Center and new student orientation sessions to help newly enrolled students learn more about the college.

While these resources provide great opportunities and assistance, some students surveyed by The Union have reported that the resources on offer won’t influence their decisions about whether or not taking courses in the winter is worth their time and money.

Robinson Lopez, a business major said that winter courses allow students the ability to better manage their overall course load.

“[Winter courses] kind of hard [to balance] if you are a full-time student, [but] it depends how long you want to spend in college,” Lopez said.

Lopez said that if students can adjust their schedules and prevent themselves from taking too many courses, it has a lot of benefits

While Lopez was more optimistic and encouraging about the upcoming winter session, biology major Carrie Jackson had different views.

“Especially being a [biology] major, most of the winter classes that I’m taking are STEM classes. To fit one of those classes in four weeks is brutal and I don’t have time for anything else,” Jackson said.

Another factor that makes Jackson hesitant to enroll is the fact that most of the classes are taken virtually which, according to her, makes completing the coursework a lot less attainable.

Jackson does feel that winter courses can help because students are exposed to the material every day during the winter semester, which makes the material easier for her to comprehend.

Despite this, Jackson said she still prefers being in the classroom as she has the chance to have one-on-one time with her professors and classmates.

“It’s just a lot better in person because you get answers faster, you can keep your train of thought [and] you don’t have to wait two business days to continue a homework assignment,” Jackson said.

Political Science Professor Laurie Houske said that the advantages of taking winter sessions are that they allow students to take fewer classes during the spring and fall semesters.

“I think winter classes are a huge advantage for some students [because] the benefit is they can take fewer classes in the fall,” Houske said.

Houske said that for many students, winter sessions allow them to quickly progress their academic careers at El Camino College. Houske said that having winter courses beginning after the holidays gives students more focus and motivation.

“I have taught winter for many years and students generally do very well,” Houske said.


Editor’s Note: Fixed grammar errors on Dec. 16, 2022, at 8:17 a.m.