If you’re looking to further your education this summer, Saint Martin’s University, tucked away on 300 acres in Lacey, offers Summer Session, which provides a wide variety of classes for individuals looking to learn something new.

When Saint Martin’s opened its doors in 1895, the university enrolled only one student. Today, that number has grown to nearly 2,000. With 22 undergraduate programs and six graduate programs, Saint Martin’s boasts a wide array of options for traditional and non-traditional students alike. And in the summer months, Saint Martin’s extends its educational offerings to community members who may be interested in taking a class or two.

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The second session of summer classes begins on Monday, June 27 at Saint Martin’s University.

When I sat down with the associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, Aaron Coby, Ph.D., he told me the Benedictine college aims to be very open and welcoming to the community and noted that, while the university follows the Catholic college Benedictine tradition, you don’t need to follow the same religion to be a student.

“(Saint Martin’s) is definitely not one of those institutions that looks down on you if you’re not following the same kind of spiritual path as they are,” Coby explained. “In fact, it’s written into their code that they will accept everyone where they are.” Coby said Saint Martin’s has students from all walks of life and many different nationalities.

Because Saint Martin’s aims to reach the entire community, it offers many general courses at reduced rates during the summer.

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The Saint Martin’s University welcomes students of all ages and interests to campus for the summer session.

“The campus is really all about the community and trying to make connections in the community,” Coby said. To enroll in a class is simple – visit the registrar’s office on campus and fill out the required forms. Just make sure you meet any prerequisites required for the specific classes you want to take.

Because Saint Martin’s operates on a semester system, the university is already halfway through its summer courses. The second half doesn’t start until the end of June, continuing through August. If you happen to miss a deadline, Coby said there are still opportunities for enrollment, depending on available space.

The summer sessions differ from the regular school year because class size is even smaller than normal, with some courses having less than 10 students. This allows for more one-on-one time with the professors and more opportunities for field trips and travel.

“In the summer, it’s a special experience,” Coby said. “You’re also meeting four days a week for a couple hours at a time,” Coby added, which makes for a close-knit group of students.

Saint Martin’s encourages community members to see what makes this small university special.

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The beautiful fountain and courtyard were added to Saint Martin’s in 2013.

“One of the first things they’ll say and describe about the university is its welcoming community,” Coby said. It’s because of this sense of community that Coby has stayed with the university for nearly a decade. “We are really trying to make a connection between whatever discipline you’re interested in — biology, business, engineering, what not — and also the humanities. And trying to figure it out, what it means to be human, and how that fits into being, say, an engineer. What it means to understand how we communicate and asking the right questions to understand life a little better and be a business major at the same time.”

For information on all of Saint Martin’s summer course offerings, including tuition rates, pick up a copy of the university’s summer brochure, available on campus, or visit Saint Martin’s University’s website.


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