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Let Summer Begin!

April 25, 2012 in Academics, Communication, Community, Travel

The Successful Completion of an Academic Year

Graduation 2011. Photo Credit: Brennan Tymrak

Congratulations, Michigan Tech students and families; you have nearly made it through this academic year! That is quite an accomplishment!

Students, I hope you conquered your final exams and passed all your courses with flying colors. For graduating students, the last couple of weeks have been especially meaningful. It is a truly great achievement to graduate from Michigan Technological University. (Reminder: Commencement is Saturday, April 28!)

Parents and family members, I would like to recognize you for the support and encouragement that you have offered your student during their time at Michigan Tech. I strongly believe that it is your commitment to your student’s success that has prepared them to create the future both at Michigan Tech and around the world.

Summer Courses

The spring semester will soon come to a close and Track A summer courses will begin. Each summer, many Michigan Tech students take courses on campus or online from Michigan Tech. Summer courses are a great way for students to stay on track with their degree requirements. Even taking just one or two summer classes can allow students to take a smaller course load during the academic year or allow for students to take a co-op during the academic year and still graduate in four years.

I spent the last two summers taking courses at Michigan Tech. By taking summer courses, I am able to graduate a semester early. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed taking summer courses.

One of the key things to remember when taking summer courses is to make sure you stay on top of the course readings and assignments. Most summer courses are offered Monday through Thursday for seven weeks, which requires students to attend the course period four days a week. This means that homework or reading may be assigned and be due the next day.

Course periods in the summer also tend to be a little bit longer than they are in the academic year.  This means it is important for students taking summer courses to attend all course sessions, and take notes and stay awake during course sessions.

Although taking summer courses may sound like a lot of work, it is a great way to get a couple of harder courses out of the way while enjoying the opportunity to study on the beach.

Explore the Keweenaw! Photo Credit: Liz Banda

I have found that one of the best parts of taking summer courses at Tech is the opportunity you have to enjoy all that the Houghton area has to offer in the summertime. Since summer courses typically run Monday through Thursday, it is easy for students to spend their three-day weekends exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula and participating in local summertime festivities.

There are several things to do in the local area over the summer. Some of the summer festivities students enjoy participating in include Keweenaw Bike to Work Day, Bridgefest, the local Fourth of July celebrations, and the Strawberry Festival.  Throughout this summer, I plan on highlighting the various upcoming local events.

Jampot Summer Opening

One of my favorite places to go in the summer is the Jampot. It’s absolutely delicious! A full variety of jams, jellies, and fruitcakes as well as select muffins, cookies, and confections are baked fresh daily. The Jampot is located on State Highway M26, three miles north of Eagle River and five miles south of Eagle Harbor–next to Jacob’s Falls. The Jampot’s opening day will be Friday, April 27. Visit their website,, for more information.

Students Returning Home

For those of you who have a student returning home for the summer, you may notice some changes in your interactions with your student. Going away to college and living away from home provides students with valuable experiences that prepare them to enter the workforce and eventually live entirely on their own.

Because of your student’s time living away from home, you may find that your student’s schedule no longer matches that of your family’s or that your student has created their own set of routines and habits. You may also find that your student is somewhat reluctant to return home. It is most likely not that your student does not want to live with you or spend time with you, but that they miss their college friends and the life that they have created away from home. As students begin to see others around them graduating, they too are looking forward to finishing their degree, getting a full-time job and gaining further independence.

As your student returns home, I encourage you to talk with your student about their experiences living away from home and engage in a discussion of your expectations for one another. Being back together as a family for the summer can be lots of fun. Enjoy your time with your student!

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have.

Samantha Allen