Zipping ahead with summer classes gives grads a jumpstart on careers


Call it a sense of urgency. Or impatience. Either way, Christa Gasser and Sanja Hercegovac will collect their diplomas in May after only three years at UA. It was their time spent in summer classrooms that is helping them to don caps and gowns a year ahead of schedule.

Beginning with a new accelerated three-week session in May and continuing into August, current UA students and guest students from other schools have a choice of more than 2,000 courses. The concentrated sessions offer opportunities to keep on track with a degree program or, like Gasser, Hercegovac and dozens of other May graduates, a jumpstart on careers.

Gasser, an honors student from Paulding, Ohio, will receive a B.A. in Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Education. She is now completing a student teaching assignment at Rittman High School.

Accelerated pace started early

Christa Gasser, left, and Sanja Hercegovac.

She earned 18 credits toward her degree during two years of summer classes. Gasser also sped her college career along through Ohio’s Postsecondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP). While still in high school, she earned 19 credits at Defiance College and Northwest Community College.

“I wanted to finish my degree sooner so that I could start my career and begin to make money,” says Gasser, who, like Hercegovac, has held one or two part-time jobs at a time during college. “I loved the summer classes because they were so focused and the curriculum was streamlined. We got everything we needed in that concentrated period of time.”

Hercegovac, who will receive a B.A. in Psychology, also has been on an accelerated path since her senior year at Kenmore High School, when she earned 19 PSEOP credits. At UA, she met her language requirement by earning 14 bypass credits in Spanish. “I had four years of high school Spanish and I consider it my second language,” says Hercegovac with a smile.

She’s already focused on the next step in her career path — graduate school — where she will earn a degree in counseling.

I’m very passionate about psychology and helping people,” says Hercegovac, a native of Bosnia who moved here with her family eight years ago. “I guess I’m too impatient, but I wanted to graduate as soon as possible so I could start graduate school and begin doing what I want to do.”

To learn more, visit Summer 2012: Enrollment and course information.