School no longer ends in May and the days of tossing papers up in the air to celebrate finals are gone. This year, Lutes are welcomed back to campus to continue coursework for a major discount over the summer.

Summer sessions at Pacific Lutheran University have been one of the well kept secrets of the administration. This year, the Office of Continuing Education has overhauled the program, giving it a fresh face and a fresh price.

This year is the inaugural year for summer session online courses. There will be 12 courses offered online, for a fourth of the regular price.

“We want people to stay connected to PLU, even if you are out of state or want to go home  and work you still have the opportunity to be involved in classes and be either to get a General Ed out of the way or another major or minor” Sarah Sharits, Program Coordinator for Continuing Education said.

With the marketing revamp for PLU summer sessions, the university wants to both grow the retention rate and increase connection to campus. Both the university and the Center for Continuing Education are trying to prevent, what Shartis explains as “dropping off in spring and then forgetting about us and then maybe forgetting about us forever or not coming back into the fall just knowing that we are still here, and still invested in the students.”

If students will be in Washington state and close to campus they are also encouraged to sign up for the face-to-face courses. These one month courses are available for half the normal price. Specifically the course offerings will be popular classes across disciplines such as Astronomy and Public Speaking.

“Some of the General Eds that are really popular that people can’t seem to get in – we are getting those this summer,” Sharits said.

While school is in session, students and community members can expect PLU’s sponsored summer events such as Jazz Under the Stars concert series. The series runs each Thursday, bringing different jazz artists and groups to the Mary Baker Russell outdoor amphitheatre. This summer is also the Berry Festival, which will be held the first Wednesday of every month.

“The berry festival will highlight a different fruit for each month, so whether that is strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, Teachers and then students can come and get a little snack or treat and see some entertainment during the day,” said Sharits.

All our welcome for these events, and both current undergraduates and non matriculated students can sign up for classes. Registration takes place April 13-24 on BannerWeb. Financial aid options are also available. More information can be found at www.plu.edu/summer.

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Samantha Lund was the Editor in Chief at The Mast, a student-run newsroom within Pacific Lutheran University, in 2015-16. Lund created Mast Magazine in 2015 to give students a forum for long form news pieces. She could be found writing for Pacific Lutheran University's Marketing and Communication site plu.edu or interning at MOViN 92.9's morning talk show in Seattle. Other places to find her content include: Alaska Airlines blog and website, The News Tribune and The Bremerton Harald.