As a senior double-majoring in ocean engineering and aerospace engineering, Lauren Jean Bradberry of Baton Rouge, La., is no stranger to hard work. 

Although she admits the courses she took this summer were challenging, she asserts, “I still had free time to actually enjoy summer.”

The option of graduating early was a major factor for Bradberry when she enrolled for the Virginia Tech Summer I 2011 semester, thereby reducing her projected graduation timeline by 25 percent. She notes that it could takes 16 semesters to graduate with degrees in both ocean engineering and aerospace engineering. “If I didn’t take summer classes, I would likely graduate in eight years instead of six.”

Bradberry said she benefited greatly from the smaller class size of the summer courses as it helped establish a stronger understanding of the course material, as well as work more closely with the professors. And taking courses over the summer allowed her to experience tubing on the New River, hiking, and attending summer festivals. 

Prior to her Virginia Tech summer experience, Bradberry was enrolled in summer classes at another state university closer to her hometown. She found the experience more valuable at Virginia Tech because she was able to receive a letter grade for her work and make connections with faculty. 

More information on Virginia Tech Summer Sessions may be found online, or email Michael Herndon, director of University Summer Sessions.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Amy Shaffron, public relations assistant for the Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning.
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