Tseng College offers classes during the winter break

Pam Tapper

Photo Illustration by Sami Eshaghi
Photo Illustration by Sami Eshaghi

As most students are in a blur after the holidays, some motivated students are taking classes every day, including weekends, for the first two weeks of January. The Winter Term/Intersession 2010 is a short, highly concentrated session of classes offered by the Tseng College.

A student may only take three to four units per session, because each unit requires 15 hours of class time during the two-week period. A three-unit class would require 45 hours of class time and a class with a lab would require 60 hours of class time. The classes are small so that students may interact with the faculty often.

“We are accredited by the Carnegie Foundation so we have to have very high standards,” said Simin Bahmanyar, the director of University Access at Tseng College.

“The winter term offers over 80 classes, mostly social sciences and business. There are no engineering classes or education classes,” Bahmanyar said. “Math 140 is usually crowded and hard to get into during the regular school year, but during the winter term, it’s available and finished in two weeks. CSUN faculty members teach the courses for the winter term, and the classes are located throughout the campus.”

The session also offers non-credit classes in preparation for the CBEST, GRE and LSAT at more reasonable rates than commercial prep courses.

“I was undeclared, so I took a communicative disorders class as an elective and ended up majoring in it,” said Becky Spelts, a former intersession student and a current speech therapist. “It was a nice break from school with five to six classes. With the intersession, it was easier to focus on just one class.”

Because the Tseng College is self-sufficient, it is not affected by state budget cuts or furlough days. The winter term will have no breaks in the 14-day program. Online courses, on-campus courses and some hybrid courses are offered during the term. Students are asked to do pre- and post-reading and some group projects for the highly concentrated courses as well.

Course fees run from $265 per lecture unit, to $305 per activity unit and $385 per laboratory unit. Registration began on Monday, Oct. 19 and will continue until the first day of school, Monday, Jan. 4, 2010. The classes will meet every day for 14 days until Sunday, Jan. 17, the last day of class.

The winter term is open to members of the community as well as CSUN students. Students whose hometown is in the area, but who attend college out of state, are welcome to attend the session. No admission process or application is required for registration.

“One of the delights of our work in the Tseng College is that our charge is to get to know what the university knows, and then create opportunities for the faculty to make knowledge across the disciplines accessible,” said Joyce Feucht-Haviar, dean of the Tseng College.