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Let’s Talk Summer

If your student will be home, or, more likely, breezing through, over spring break, use this time to discuss academics: progress, priorities, and goals. If you are a parent of a first or second year student, midterm grades will undoubtedly be a part of this conversation; however, summer classes can be a factor for students at any point in their progress toward graduation.

Students take summer classes, either at Bellarmine or at another institution, for various reasons including:

  • To get ahead on credits to allow for more focus on intensive courses later
  • To stay on track for graduation because of a major change
  • To take a prerequisite or gateway course in order to begin in fall semester on track in one’s major
  • To replace a low or failing grade in a Bellarmine course by retaking the course at Bellarmine

Taking a Summer Course at Bellarmine

The most straightforward way to achieve any of the goals listed above is to simply take the desired course(s) at Bellarmine during one of the summer terms (use the drop-down menu to select “summer 2015”). Bellarmine tries to offer courses that fit various needs from general education to key major requirements.

If students do not have any account holds, they may begin registering for Bellarmine summer classes when their “ticket time” opens. Fall and summer registration for currently enrolled degree-seeking students will occur between March 12-24, 2015.

Bellarmine offer students the opportunity to apply for summer grants for half off tuition of a course (the majority of freshmen and sophomores qualify for at least one grant). Additional information is available from the Office of Financial Aid.

Students taking summer classes at Bellarmine may live in the Residence Halls for $50 per week (for a double room) during the session(s) in which they’re enrolled for at least one course. You can address questions about summer housing to the Department of Housing and Residence Life at 502-272-7272.

Taking a Summer Course at Another Institution

In certain situations, Bellarmine degree requirements may be fulfilled by taking a course at another institution (a “host institution”) and transferring the credits back to Bellarmine. This process is guided by the ‘Study at Other Institutions’ and “Transfer of Credit Policy” in the current Course Catalog.

Although it can be convenient to take a course at a college close to home, it is very important for students to take the appropriate steps prior to enrolling at the host institution to ensure that taking the course will fulfill their goal in progressing to their degree at Bellarmine.

Here are the main points students need to know prior to registering at another institution:

  • Students may not replace a Bellarmine grade with a course grade from another institution. Any courses students wish to “retake” must be at Bellarmine.
  • Students must first complete the “Petition: Waiver of Degree Requirement or Exception to Academic Policy” form. This process ensures, prior to taking the course, that it will indeed fulfill the intended requirement. Students must attach a course description of the intended course and their unofficial Bellarmine transcript to the form. See the ARC’s website for additional help on completing this form.
  • If it is determined that a student is eligible for study at another institution, using the information provided on the Petition form and the students’ academic standing, the Registrar will issue a Visiting Student Letter
  • Once a student has been approved by Bellarmine for study, not more than eight semester hours or two courses may be applied under “Visiting Student” arrangements to the General Education Requirements or to major or minor requirements.
  • After the course is taken, it is the student’s responsibility to have the transcripts sent to the Registrar.

Spring break is a great opportunity to begin these conversations with your student so that he or she can make appropriate arrangements with his or her advisor and the Registrar before the end of the semester. ARC advisors can also help students navigate the process.

Thank you to Jared Burton, Associate Registrar, for his input on Taking a Summer Course at Another Institution section of this post.

Updated March 2015

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About Cassie

I'm the Director of the Writing Center and Director of Parent Communications at Bellarmine University.

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