Winter Session courses meet wide range of student needs

The man in charge, Alex Colletta '18, points to convenience, suitability to different learning styles and cost-effectiveness

October 21, 2021
By Faith Morgan '23

Alex Colletta ’18

Are you an athlete who would like to ease your workload during the season? Are you a student who learns better online or when you spread your work out over a period of time? Are you an upperclassman who needs to catch up on completing Saint Michael’s College liberal arts CORE requirements? Did you drop a course in the past that you need to make up? Winter Session courses are a great option to mold your education to what you need with ease.

Alex Colletta, assistant director of operations, recommends Winter Session courses for a multitude of students including seniors who need to catch up on credits for graduation, athletes, students looking to increase their GPA, students looking to get off of academic probation, or students looking to graduate early.

Winter Session courses are four weeklong, reduced-rate, fully online, asynchronous classes that take place over the winter break. “All the course content is done in Canvas. The asynchronous nature means that there’s never going to be a time or place when students are required to log into the course and complete assignments,” Colletta said. “I’ve seen professors in the past record lectures, have discussion boards, have videos up for students to watch, online tests, et cetera. What I think students really like about a course like this is the flexibility and the ability to complete their work on their own time.”

Five Winter Session courses is a typical recent number of annual offerings at Saint Michael’s, Colletta said, adding that any student who needs a course during a Winter Session that is not among the year’s offerings should contact him for assistance.winter logo

Many of the courses fulfill requirements for majors, minors, and the liberal arts “CORE” sequence. The courses offered in the 2021-2022 winter session are: Management, which covers business major and minor requirements, Environmental Science, which covers scientific reasoning or inquiry, Intro to Philosophy, which covers philosophical questions, Current Issues in World Politics, which covers history and society or social and institutional categories, and Lifespan Development (a psychology course, though not within the CORE sequence or major/minor requirements for the Psychology program).

Each course costs $1,980 plus course materials, which places the cost per credit at $495 — drastically cheaper than the cost per credit of a normal semester class, Colletta said. That means it is much more cost effective for students to take a winter course to catch up instead of having to take another semester of classes after graduation. Financial aid for winter courses is unique to each student based on that student’s financial aid and given situation during the fall and spring semesters. Any student in need of financial aid, or who would like more information about aid for winter session, should contact the Office of Student Financial Services.

Winter Session classes allow students to earn a full four credits from the comfort of home on their own time, at a reduced rate and much faster than a normal semester. “We do restrict students to only take one course in the winter session, and the faculty who are teaching these courses have taught previously in our winter session or in our accelerated summer program. So, the faculty is not only experienced in teaching online but they are also experienced in taking a 15 week course and shrinking it down to 4 weeks,” said Colletta.winter

Since the Winter Session courses are condensed versions of a normal semester course, instructors hold a higher expectation of hours dedicated per week to the class. “Students should expect to spend about 30 hours per week per course over the 4 week winter session, but of course, breaks are built in for the holidays,” said Colletta.

Winter classes might be right for those who learn more efficiently online or on their own time — or for anybody worried about requirements and credit fulfillment; Winter Session is likely a great option to catch up, get ahead, and stay on track for nearly any academic journey or type of learner, Colletta said.

To register for Winter Session, go to or contact Alex Colletta to learn more about why a Winter Session course may be the right fit:

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