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Summer Sessions

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Santa Barbara: Summer Sessions

The first summer session at Santa Barbara under University auspices occurred in 1945 and was of six weeks' duration. By the mid-1960's, there were fourteen sessions of six weeks each. During the peak of World War II veteran enrollments in 1947-48 there were two six-week sessions a year. In each of the years 1949 through 1952 there was an eight-week session.

From 1945 to 1957, the Summer Sessions were administered under the general jurisdiction of the chief campus officer. In the fall of 1957, the director of Summer Sessions, Lewis F. Walton, was appointed and the Summer Sessions office was established. During the ensuing seven years the Summer Sessions budget increased from $60,000 to $146,000, enrollment rose from 548 in 1957 to 1,356 in 1964, and the teaching staff increased from 41 to 75.

Between the 1940's and the 1960's, enrollments varied greatly. There was a precipitous increase from 573 in 1945 to a double session maximum of 1,986 in 1947. With the advent of the Korean War, enrollment dropped during 1950-52 from 1,085 to a record minimum of 523. In 1958, there was a 45% increase over 1957; subsequently, the average annual increase in enrollment was 10%, the largest increases occurring in 1961 (17.6%) and in 1963 (35%). In 1962 there was a decrease of 7.6%.

The summer session curriculum changed considerably since the mid-1940's. In the fourteen years from 1945 through 1958, the emphasis was on courses in education, physical education, and crafts. Offerings in the humanities, the physical sciences, mathematics, and the social sciences accounted for only 47% of the curriculum. From 1959 to the mid-1960's, there was a strong shift toward these latter disciplines, which averaged 64% of the curriculum and constituted 80% of the offerings in 1965. Graduate courses were introduced in 1957, but they still constituted a small fraction of the total curriculum; aside from directed research courses, they were largely limited to offerings in the School of Education.

Many special programs and institutes were presented in the Summer Sessions. These included: symposia on the arts at midcentury (1955), the graphic arts at mid-century (1956), Spanish Colonial arts (1957); colloquia on the practice of criticism in the arts (1960), the age of Newton (1961); National Science Foundation institutes in marine science (1959, 1960), secondary mathematics (1961-1965), and anthropology (1961); intensive foreign language program (1963-64); and the summer session program for high school students who have completed the junior year (1959-1965). After the late 1950's, over 1,000 high school students enrolled in this special program which was designed to give high school honor students an opportunity to earn advanced standing credit in residence on a University campus. The record of these students was consistently better on the average than that of entering freshmen and many earned honors and Regents' scholarships in subsequent regular sessions.


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Last updated 06/18/04.