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The Summer Quarter

Report Of The Chairman

To the President of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute:

The 1929 summer quarter, as has been the case for several years, was divided into two terms of approximately six weeks each. The first term opened on June 13 and closed on July 19; the second term opened on August 2 and closed on September 5.

The following table shows the distribution of students for 1929 and three preceding summers:

Total number of students  304  289  225  184  
Teachers68  92  44  49  
Male261  263  192  157  
Female43  26  33  27  
V. P. I.198  186  157  116  
Outside106  103  68  6  
Graduate students57  ----  ----  ----  

A staff of forty teachers was employed. Of this number thirty-seven were members of the regular faculty. The number of students attending has been steadily increasing each year. This, necessarily, called for some increase in the summer quarter faculty.

The courses offered were selected from the following departments: agricultural education, agronomy, animal husbandry, applied mechanics, botany and plant pathology, business administration, chemistry, dairy husbandry, economics and history, education, English, geology, graphics, horticulture, mathematics, mechanic arts, physical education, physics, poultry husbandry, zoology and animal pathology.

The courses were particularly chosen to meet the needs of our own or other college students working for degrees, making up deficiencies, straightening out irregular programs, or securing advanced credit. Certain of these courses were adapted to prospective college students wishing to secure additional credits for college entrance, either to satisfy standard college entrance requirements, or to secure advanced standing; and for those preparing to enter schools of law, medicine, pharmacy, or dentistry.

A few short courses of three weeks each were offered, particularly to take care of teachers of vocational agriculture under the Smith-Hughes act. This constitutes the largest group of teachers attending each summer, hence in addition to regular courses adapted to their needs, other special courses are always offered. Many of the courses were adapted to teachers preparing to teach in the high schools or wishing to renew certificates.

New features for 1929 were the geology field study trip, and the course in landscape gardening. The 10,000-mile transcontinental field trip was under the direction of Dr. R. J. Holden. Seventeen students took advantage of this trip. While the course in landscape gardening was at first offered particularly for teachers of vocational agriculture, it was later suggested by Prof. A. H. Reid that it could well be adapted also for nurserymen. A few nurserymen did attend the course and expressed themselves as well pleased with the work given.

The only entertainment feature consisted of a few dances each term, carefully supervised and conducted in a creditable manner.

In general the conduct of students throughout the summer was very good. On the whole they seemed to study well.

Experience seems to indicate that the usefulness of the summer quarter would be greatly enlarged through increased appropriation. With present resources it is becoming increasingly difficult to offer all the courses that perhaps should be given to take care of increasing enrolment. An increase in the number of courses given would probably also mean an increase in the number of students. The committee has no doubt been criticized at times because limited finances have forced them to be very sure, before allowing a new course, that the demand justifies it.

As the enrolment increases a certain amount of entertainment features should perhaps be added. Present enrolment, however, would hardly justify this.

Additional courses similar to the geology field study course and the course in landscape gardening may be developed to advantage. In order to attract a greater number of teachers certain departments, especially in science, perhaps could outline and offer additional courses particularly adapted for teacher training. This would undoubtedly tend to increase the number and variety of students served by the summer quarter.

Activities other than the classes of the summer quarter were unusually numerous on the campus during the summer, and it seems desirable to increase wherever practicable the service rendered in this way.

Respectfully submitted,

J. W. Watson, Chairman.