Students and teachers share their views on the experience they have with Malvern’s summer class program.
Malvern offers several classes over the summer, split into one of three categories: preparatory classes, semester classes, and courses for full credit.
For summer 2017, credited classes for either semester or full credit are currently scheduled in computer science, health, language, mathematics, science, and theology. Preparatory non-credit classes are scheduled in english, mathematics, test prep, and tutoring. Information and registration options are online at www.malvernsummerprograms.com.
Tuition ranges from $375 for High School Entrance Exam Test Prep, to $1500 for one-credit classes.
According to Upper School Head Mr. Ron Algeo, non-credit preparatory classes include high school prep classes for younger kids, SAT prep, and preparation for math and english for new freshmen.
College Counselor and English Teacher Mr. Richard Roper has taught summer programs for many years. Currently, one of his summer courses is the Grammar and Composition class, a preparatory class for freshmen.
“This was originally designed for incoming freshmen who may have had some issues on the entrance exam or displayed some indication that they could use some extra help to get them started,” Roper said.
While the academic side of the class is very important, there are also non-academic benefits to taking a class like this, according to Roper
“The non-academic piece was to give these guys a chance to get to know someone before they got started,” he said. “Sometimes they knew one or two people, but usually there are guys from enough different locations that they had an opportunity to make some friends as they were going forward and give them a head start on the socialization part of it.”
Roper also teaches an SAT prep course and a High School Placement Exam practice course over the summer.
“I have enjoyed doing all three of those classes very much, and I saw it as a way to have Malvern enhanced in people’s eyes – that we provide other things,” he said.
Like Roper, Algeo teaches the Math component of the preparatory classes for incoming freshmen. He loves teaching it and thinks that taking the class can be a very beneficial experience for students.
“I love teaching it. I think it’s great,” Algeo said. “It’s just a nice opportunity to focus on [the one class]. I know the guys’ focus is a little bit easier because they don’t have seven other classes. It’s more time.”
According to Algeo, some students think that the increased amount of time will make the class unbearable, which he believes is not the case at all.
“To me, I don’t have them sit that long. I have them moving around doing different kinds of activities,” Algeo said, “We can change things up, we can change up the pace. Believe it or not it goes by fast, the time that I have with them each day. And because I meet with them for three weeks it goes by super fast.”
He thinks that summer classes can be a great experience and students can get a lot out of them. “It depends what students are trying to get out of it,” he said.
Roper also thinks that the classes can be very beneficial for students.
“It provides a one on one opportunity for the student and the teacher. It provides an opportunity to really focus on skills that the student might be lacking or skills that the student wants to enhance,” he said,
According to Roper, this is especially true for students who want to advance in their curriculum.
“From the standpoint of leapfrogging or accelerating the program for an individual student, someone who has let’s say Algebra II as a junior and wants to accelerate to get himself into Advanced Placement Calculus his senior year, he can take the honors Pre-Calc course during the summer,” he said.
Senior Jack Szipszky agrees with Roper. He thinks that student show have good view of their education path can really take advantage of Summer classes to help get ahead in the course curriculum.
“Freshmen year I knew I wanted to be an engineer in college, and I knew that math was really important for that,” he said. “So, I wanted to get as far ahead in math as possible. So if you have a student who knows what they want to do in college like I did, has a very set path… Then yeah sure take a summer class, and get really far ahead in your field.”
Mr. Matt McCormick ‘06 joined Malvern’s staff as Summer Programs Project Manager this year. He is managing all of the aspects of Summer activities on Malvern’s campus, not just courses.
“There are three aspects of the summer programs at Malvern. There are academic classes that we have offered to Malvern students and non-Malvern students. Sports camps are run by the various teams and the coaches of those teams. Then there are the Lavner Camps and the enrichment camps,” McCormick said.
Lavner Camps is an external summer camp organization that provides a variety of summer camp experiences at locations in Pennsylvania and five other states, including programs on Malvern Prep’s campus.
McCormick said that when he was a student at Malvern, summer classes were very different than they are today,
“Back then I thought the only students that took summer courses were guys who needed catch up or who had failed a class or whatever,” he said, “Then I come to learn that you can take it to catch up. You can even take a course that you are interested in.”