Students pursue off-campus summer studies

Butler University students who want to crack open their textbooks this summer outside of the Butler Bubble may have to jump through a few extra hoops in order to get credit.

Getting transfer credit for courses requires approval from the department head, the dean of the college or the core administrator and the student’s adviser before the student can apply for summer courses at another college, said Sonya Moore, coordinator of transfer credit.

Students are not allowed to take pass-or-fail courses elsewhere, and they must complete their last 30 hours at Butler.

Some of Butler’s colleges have different requirements for obtaining transfer credits. Most colleges and majors require a grade above a C- for the credit to transfer, but COPHS has tighter restrictions.

“Students must make sure to read instructions according to their college,” Moore said.

In order to get transfer credits, students must fill out a transfer credit approval form, which is available online on the registrar’s page of the Butler website.

There are two different forms: one for core curriculum and one for courses in a certain college. Advisers are utilized throughout the process to make sure the student takes the right course and gets the desired credit.

Proximity to home and lower cost are common advantages of taking courses elsewhere over the summer. Several courses, such as chemistry, are difficult to get into, which makes taking them elsewhere an appealing option.

“If a student lives far away from Butler, they will choose a school closer to home,” Registrar Sondrea Ozolins said. “It’s all the student’s choice.”

Tory Patrick, who graduated from Butler in 2011, decided to take two courses in financial accounting and organizational behavior over the summer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“I was abroad previously, and I wanted to graduate early,” Patrick said. “It was just convenient to get those six credits out of the way.”

A disadvantage of non-Butler summer courses is the inequality in the learning environment. Summer terms at other schools can be different than Butler’s.

Contact hours are squeezed into a shorter period of time. Credit is based on contact hours, so the workload is usually different than it would be during a regular term.

“The transfer policy applies to all colleges, but in some cases, it is difficult for students to find pharmacy or chemistry classes that meet the standards required for advancement,” Ozolins

Ozolins explained that, with chemistry, if a student is not happy with the original grade he or she receives, he or she can retake the course to achieve a higher grade.

However, the grade does not change if the course is taken at another

Ozolins said she is always glad to see a summer term fill up, and the school is examining how to make the term more interesting for students.

“We try to keep students interested and involved,” Ozolins said.

When deciding to take summer courses elsewhere, students have a few restrictions regarding schools.

The college must be regionally accredited and a part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

According to their websites, Indiana, Purdue and DePauw Universities follow a similar set of rules for recognizing transfer credits from other universities and colleges.

When a summer course is completed, an official transcript must be sent to Registration and Records here at Butler.


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