While most of us see winter break as a week to get as far away from academia as possible, some students see it as an opportunity to get some knowledge and earn a few college credits while they’re at it.
Through the program EMU-Up North, Eastern Michigan University offers winter break classes at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Mich., allowing students the opportunity to earn up to four credits in just one week.
From March 3-8, students will attend class and live on the Shanty Creek ski resort (about four hours north of Ypsilanti) for a unique educational vacation, a mix of school work and outdoor activity.
“I went twice in my undergrad and I loved it,” Sarah Painter, a program associate for EMU’s Extended Programs and Educational Outreach, said. “It’s a good opportunity to take some extra classes, and it’s a really great experience.”
EMU-Up North offers classes on a variety of topics. Most of them are three-credit general education classes, including ANTH 135 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, HIST 379 – Nazi Germany, WGST 200 – Introduction to Women’s Studies and many more.
There are also one-credit PEGN physical activity and wellness classes such as skiing and snowboarding. Recently added to the program is a class called PEGN Palooza, which is a combination of different physical activities.
“I spoke with the instructor and she mentioned there would be things like kickboxing, yoga and dance, all in one class,” Painter said.
If you think four credits in less than a week sounds too good to be true, it’s not. But there certainly is a catch.
“You’ll definitely be in class for a lot longer … you meet for the same amount of hours as a regular semester, in one week,” Painter said.
Many of the classes meet for hours each day and students are expected to complete exams, homework and reading assignments as well. Although the week may sound intense, it comes with many benefits.
“You can take one three-credit course during winter break, and nine credits during the regular semester and you will be considered a full-time student,” Painter said.
Essentially, students can trade one intense week for a lighter workload during the rest of the semester.
The classes at EMU-Up North are also much smaller than they would be on EMU’s main campus, allowing for closer student-instructor relationships.
There are also many non-academic benefits to a week on a ski resort. After class, students can rent their own equipment and purchase lift tickets to hit the slopes on skis, a snowboard or a tube. There are also events scheduled for EMU students and plenty of indoor activities inside the lodges.
Students who register for classes with EMU-Up North are responsible for the normal EMU tuition and fees as well as lodging and transportation. To cover the extra expenses, additional financial aid may be available to those who qualify. Students can reserve a spot on a bus to and from EMU’s campus or fill out a room and ride-sharing application in order to cut costs.
Spaces for the classes are limited, so students who are interested should register soon. Some of the classes are already full, Painter said.
More information about the program, costs and courses offered can be found at www.extended.emich.edu/north.
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