This past Monday, the University’s Summer Language Institute decided to cancel its French and Spanish language offerings. The decision was based on low enrollment in both languages—only six students had enrolled in Spanish while only four students had enrolled in French.
Karen Anderson, administrative director of the Summer Institute, explained that colleagues across the country with whom she has spoken are also having problems attracting students for summer programs this year.
“Enrollment in summer sessions across the country is down,” Anderson said.
Anderson believes the current state of the economy may be one of the main reasons programs are experiencing low enrollment rates.
Graduate student Adrien Le Ray was supposed to work as a language assistant in the French courses this summer.
“I hope it’ll work for the following years,” Le Ray said. “It would be advantageous for students.”
Le Ray thought that the program was well designed, with fun activities to aid language learning. However, he thinks the $5,972 price of the program may have dissuaded applicants.
“Probably it was a bit expensive,” Le Ray said. “Maybe people don’t have that much money for summer.”
The Institute will still offer Arabic and Russian language this summer from June 2 to 27 and students who complete the program will receive the equivalent credits of a year of foreign language study at the University. Anderson says that both programs will be small but that they are still hearing from interested individuals.
Next summer the University still hopes to offer the Institute although it will reevaluate aspects of the program. Anderson notes that starting any kind of summer program has its difficulties.