Cornell prepares for summer flex blocks

Cornell College will offer summer courses following the close of the regular academic year.

The new calendar with two additional blocks, Block 9 and Block 10, was approved at the outset of the pandemic to allow much more flexibility for students.

“Having the option to take courses through Cornell in Blocks 9 and 10 allows any student who dropped a class due to COVID or some other reason to stay on track for graduation. The summer courses can enable students to get ahead if they are trying to graduate early,” said Registrar Megan Hicks. “It also allows students who are in need of a prerequisite course for a class they plan to take next year to get that taken care of such as for Spanish, introduction art courses, or statistics.”

More than 120 students have signed up for the 17 online courses with enrollment expected to grow as summer draws closer. The decision about what courses to offer was based on faculty interest. The registrar also considered courses that students frequently take over the summer and transfer in. 

“If a student is doing a double major or had a scheduling conflict during the year, taking a summer course might give them a little added flexibility during the regular academic year,” Hicks said.

Block 9 will take place from May 24 through June 17. Cornell faculty will offer online courses such as Studio Basics: Photo Imaging, Education and Culture, Video Games as Literature, and Beginning Spanish I and II.

Block 10 takes place from July 18 through Aug. 11 with online courses such as Drawing, Introduction to Film Editing, Experimental Drawing, and Eating Culture: The Anthropology of Food. 

There will be two extended blocks which will last from July 6 through Aug. 13, Statistical Methods I and Beginning Spanish I. Those blocks will last nearly six weeks instead of the traditional 3 ½ to allow students to take more time to learn the information of those courses.

Students who wish to participate in the flex blocks can choose to take all 10 blocks in one year. Courses taken during Blocks 9 and 10 will have an additional cost on top of the student’s regular tuition unless the course was a replacement for a class canceled or dropped due to COVID-19. Registration for the courses during summer 2021 remains open until the first day of the block as long as the minimum number of students has enrolled by May 10 for Block 9 and July 9 for Block 10.