English as Foreign Language Draws Greatest Enrollment
"English as a Foreign Language" is the most popular course at the Summer School this year, followed by Expository Writing and Chemistry S-20, "Organic Chemistry."
English S-D1, "English as Foreign Language," has 215 students for the first term. The second session, English S-D2, has 154 students. The course's enrollment has more than doubled over the past three years, Marshall R. Pihl, associate director of the Summer School, said yesterday.
Most of these English students are from Japan, Latin America and the Near East, Pihl said. He added many of them need to improve their English before entering American universities or they want to spend a summer in Boston while learning English. The drop of the dollar on international markets makes the program less expensive for foreign students, Pihl added.
Both organic and inorganic chemistry lost enrollment. Chem S-20 dropped from 190 last year to 152 and Chem S-1 dropped from 133 to 99.
The drop in these traditionally pre-med courses is consistent with trends in the academic year, Pihl said. "Students are more realistic about career choices," he added.
Business-oriented and humanities courses have increased enrollment this year, too. Two additional computers were added to the course offered last year, raising total enrollment by 121 students. Ec S-10 and Ec S-1500 have increased by about 25 students.
The Chinese Craze
Five courses in the fine arts have gained a total of 84 students, while Chinese courses have jumped from eight to 38 students. Pihl said the increase of 30 students is "a reflection of the times."
Most Summer School residents are foreign students, students from other colleges, or adults. About 15 per cent of the Summer School students are at Harvard during the school year. Another 15 per cent are high school students.
The enrollment of Harvard students has dropped in recent years since the University allowed students to take more than four courses without increasing tuition, Pihl said. Furthermore, graduate students have generally stopped attending Summer School since Harvard decided five years ago not to allow summer courses to count for the residency requirement.
Pihl will compile a study at the end of the summer to determine the popularity of courses. The study will help administrators decide which courses will be offered next summer. The school "caters to its customers," Pihl said.
Pihl said that because the summer program is well-managed, it has "little overhead, no dead wood." It does not have to pay for extra facilities the way the University does during the academic year, he added.
The Summer School has run a surplus since 1976.