By Varun Goyal, news correspondent 

For freshmen looking to get ahead in their academic careers, a new option offers them more classes and co-curricular experiences now and increased flexibility in later years.

During Summer I, Northeastern will kick off NUterm, a program that allowsrising sophomores to gain eight course credit hours and ultimately add options to their schedules. This program, which includes opportunities to engage with the university through a faculty lecture series and hands-on learning experience in a lab setting, will run from May 11 to June 30.

“You’re earning those eight credits right after your freshman year,” Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Experiential Learning Susan Ambrose said. “It’s very key to opening up more possibilities in the future.”

Students can earn these hours by taking courses on campus, pursuing a research project or studying abroad on a dialogue of civilizations. They can take courses for their majors, allowing them to work during a term when they may have been required to take specific classes. The program intends to give first-year students the opportunity to start work on a minor or a second major earlier than students have been able to in the past.

“We want students to think about personalization and customization along with flexibility,” Ambrose said. “Students can customize what their journey is during at Northeastern.”

The program intends to expose students to different topics through the faculty lecture series, which will focus on a variety of topics, including the dynamic between law enforcement and local communities in a post-Ferguson world and the science of building trust.

Students can also take classes in a lab setting that is not offered during the fall and spring semesters, getting a more hands-on approach to the cirriculum. These include a creativity lab in which students of varying majors can work with a professor to manifest their ideas in a creative way and present work to their peers, or an economics game lab in which students can apply mathematical concepts to analyze games and strategies, eventually creating their own game.

Students hope that NUterm will make it easier to register for certain classes. Popular or required classes at Northeastern can fill up quickly during the fall and spring semesters, and students are not always able to register for their first choices due to limited capacity. NUterm allows freshman students, who select class schedules after upperclassmen, to take classes that might not be open for them in fall and spring.

“It’s a great way to get into classes that you haven’t been able to get into in the past,” Matt Hoe, freshman physical therapy major, said.

For those who find Northeastern’s co-op program appealing but want to graduate in a traditional four-year time period, Amrbose said that NUterm will offer that opportunity.

“There are some students who want to do four years,” Ambrose said.
“We want to help the students to be more flexible to give students what they want. If people want to do two dialogues and a study abroad and three co-ops, we want them to be able to do that.”

Students will be able to live in the same residence halls and partake in activities on campus. The program will involve activities around Boston and in New England that aim to foster a sense of community among students.

“We want to do a lot of special programming for rising sophomores,” Ambrose said. “We want it to be a cohort-based program.”

The students will also have the opportunity to stay connected, develop new social skills and participate in extracurricular activities during NUterm.

“I think NUterm is a great idea,” freshman business administration major Matviy Kristof said. “We have a really long summer. I’d rather take some classes to make room for three co-ops in the future and be ahead.”

Photo by Scotty Schenck