Books over break

Ferris professor discusses benefits of summer classes

For the ambitious student, summer classes can be an opportunity to get ahead and earn some additional credits. However, it wouldn’t be possible without motivated faculty, such as Ferris English Assistant Professor and Writing Center Coordinator Dr. David Marquard, who is dedicating his summer to teaching.

This summer, Marquard will be teaching three courses: English 1, Introduction to Linguistics and Advanced Composition.

“I really like Ferris a lot, in terms of putting theory into practice. You’re not just learning over here, you’re actually using that knowledge to do something. It’s the application of knowledge that Ferris really develops,” Marquard said.

Summer courses can be considered unique when compared to the traditional fall and spring semesters. “There’s a lot of summer sections that are seven or eight weeks, so you’ve got a shortened semester. The professor has to double the workload, as does the student. So one class becomes two, and if you’re taking two, you’re taking four,” Marquard said.

Ferris mechanical engineering technology senior Kyle Adkins has taken prerequisite classes, such as physics and history, during previous summers. “I like the shortened, six week classes that are every day because you get them out of the way quickly,” Adkins said.

While students may want to be conscious about the elevated workload that summer courses require, they can also greatly benefit from the experience. “If you’re looking to finish your degree early, I think it could be a great advantage. I’m doing this because I like teaching. I’m hard-wired that way,” Marquard said. “I need to be working.” Marquard is from Oakland, California, and earned his doctorate in rhetoric and composition in Reno, Nevada. He taught at the University of North Carolina before coming to Ferris three years ago as a professor in the languages department.

When it comes to teaching, Marquard finds his job fulfilling. “I feel a great sense of satisfaction when a student comes into a concept on their own with a little bit of guidance from myself; when they work to discover things that they didn’ t know were already there and those new ideas come into play for the student,” Marquard said.

His advice for students hoping to take summer classes is to ensure that their schedule is balanced between classes, work and fun. “Summer is when people are doing things. The weather is nice and people want to be out. It’s a different kind of sacrifice,” Marquard said. “It’s a different kind of labor intensity. I would be mindful of working while taking summer classes.”

Ferris mechanical engineering technology senior Dylan Hamilton expressed the importance of balance in your summer schedule as he prepares to take classes such as humanities and photography this summer. “The shortened class is definitely nice. It requires you to be a lot more proactive as a student and not procrastinate until the last couple weeks,” Hamilton said. “Start with easier classes. You still want to go out and enjoy your summer.”