More than $155,000 Awarded in First-Time Grants to Support CSU, Chico’s Winter Session Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 01-04-2017

Michele Chandler
Public Affairs
530-898-4260
Melissa McGowan
Regional & Continuing Education
530-898-6105

A record number of students are earning University credit during the winter break through Regional & Continuing Education’s (RCE) Winter Session at California State University, Chico.

More than 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in the intensive on-campus and online classes, which started Jan. 3 and end Jan. 20. Enrollment in the accelerated program has risen 21 percent compared to last year.

For the first time, RCE awarded 311 Winter Session grants worth $500 each to students experiencing financial need, for a total of $155,500. The grants will help offset tuition for each course, which costs $286 per unit and is typically three units.

“This is a brand-new opportunity to help support students,” said Elaina McReynolds, RCE director of special session and extension programs.

Similar RCE-funded grants have been offered since 2010 to students attending the University’s popular Summer Session, but this is the first time financial aid has been available for winter courses.

“These $500 grants help undergraduate students with financial need take Winter Session courses to help them make progress toward their degree,” said Melissa McGowan, RCE marketing director.

The courses’ accelerated pace enables students to complete classes in about three weeks, compared to 16 weeks for a traditional course. Winter Session has been offered through RCE since 1975, and its Summer Session counterpart, started in 1919, offers an even greater number of classes.

Both the Winter and Summer Sessions indirectly support the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025, an effort to increase graduation rates for the 475,000 students across all 23 California State University campuses and to eliminate the academic achievement gap for underrepresented minority students.

“There’s been more strategic thinking with the colleges to increase the classes that [have] bottlenecks to help student graduate,” McReynolds said. “The choice of classes has improved the enrollment, the grants have improved the enrollment and the [increasing] number of classes has increased enrollment,” she said.

Classes are offered in 25 subjects, including General Education courses that students need to graduate, as well as subjects that fill up quickly during the regular semester—including United States History—or those that typically have a waiting list during the spring and fall semesters.

Both upper- and lower-division classes are available. Courses held on campus meet for about four hours daily, while about 42 of this year’s 55 courses are being conducted online—more than double what was available online two years ago.

Winter Session is open to students enrolled at CSU, Chico and students from other colleges and universities, as well as anyone looking to earn University credit. Most enrollees are CSU, Chico students.

To learn more about the Winter Session, please visit RCE’s website.

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