Winter Break, Minimesters, Accelerated Terms
A trend among colleges is to shorten full 3-credit courses to fill otherwise blank spots in traditional semesters. Some schools, fortunately, have placed these courses online, making them accessible to anyone with a computer. Other schools require daily attendance, but just for a few days. One of my favorite classes was offered as a minimester through my local community college. The class took place entirely inside Christmas break. I completed a 3-credit course that I transferred back to my regular degree program at my 4-year university. The course lasted only 14 days! I didn’t find the workload impossible. Harvard University (Massachusetts) offers my other favorite winter option, called “January session.” Offered through the Continuing Education College, these on-campus courses take place for 20 days in Cambridge. These courses are offered for undergraduate (associate
or bachelor) or graduate credit (masters) and open to anyone. This credit will transfer to any college or university. There is no application fee and no selection process. Simply enroll, and attend! Harvard doesn’t provide dorm housing for January sessions but will provide you names and numbers of potential sublet, rentals, hotels, and host families for your stay. Accelerated terms, winter sessions, January sessions, Minimesters, or programs like these are excellent classes for homeschooled students. Local colleges generally provide the lowest tuition rate to members of that community, but if your school doesn’t have any options, don’t hesitate to look outside your community. In almost every instance, courses completed at a traditional college via distance learning will not be distinguishable on a transcript. In other words, they do not indicate “online” on the student’s transcript.
This content is reprinted from Chapter 2 of Homeschooling for College Credit 2nd Edition.