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Monday, January 7, 2008   

Short session offers unique experience

Transcribing an original letter written in 1824 by William Carey to botanist Nathaniel Wallich is an unusual privilege for undergraduate students. For the 21 students enrolled in the Life and Work of William Carey, it's a required hands-on experience

In the five-day class that ends this week, students get to analyze and examine many of the missionary's papers and artifacts housed at William Carey University.

"I've done more planning on this one course," said Bennie R. Crockett Jr., who teaches the class with Myron C. Noonkester. Both professors are co-directors of Center for the Study of the Life and Work of William Carey.

It is one of six classes taught within a week at the university. For the first time, Carey is offering short session classes with full course credit during January.

The university calls the session J-Term. At the Hattiesburg campus, 100 students registered to take six different classes. J-Term classes also are being held at Carey's Gulfport and New Orleans campuses.

Brandon Davis, 23, is a senior with one trimester left. A religion major, he needed this class to graduate.

"It gives you a chance to get more hours in," Davis said. "It's hard to cram so much information in a short time. But the research is fun."

This class about the missionary's life can be taken either for religion or history credit. In the morning, the professors lecture. In the afternoons, the students interpret documents, drawings and other artifacts.

"This is one of the best collections in the world," said Noonkester. The collection and museum is in Donnell Hall on the Carey campus.

Sarah Mahaffey, 22, is taking the class for religion credit.

"To do it in a week is good. Once I'm done, I'm done," she said. Actually, she will have to write a research paper and take a final exam during the next trimester.

Carey has offered short courses before, during May Term and Mini-Term, which lasts for about 10 days before the regular summer terms begins. Those sessions became so popular, university officials decided to offer J-Term classes.

"Many of these classes are not offered during the regularly scheduled calendar year," said Tommy King, president of Carey, in a news release. "Students are looking for a variety of classes and learning experiences. By designing the J-Term and May-Term schedules in this way, we can offer students a myriad of opportunities to meet their educational goals."

J-Term classes started Jan. 3 and continue through Wednesday. Classes include The Life and Work of William Carey, Web page design, educational psychology, computers in nursing and performance assessment in education. New Orleans history is being taught at the New Orleans campus only.

Even travel courses were offered as part of the session. These include trips to Italy to study ancient Greek colonization, Roman emperors and imperial and Christian Rome.

A tropical field biology is meeting in Rio Dulce, Guatemala.

For photos, click here.
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Originally published January 7, 2008

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HENRIETTA WILDSMITH | Hattiesburg American

Dr. Bennie Crockett, right, helps Danny Boudreaux research an autographed letter in the Life and Work of William Carey class that is a short session class where students research items housed at William Carey University.

HENRIETTA WILDSMITH | Hattiesburg American

Dr. Myron Noonkester helps Kelvin Gipson research William Carey's childhood dictionary in the life and works of William Carey class.

For more photos, click here.

A closer look

  • The May-Term courses include a hands-on field biology class which will be offered May 11 through 24 at Tishimingo and Leroy Percy State Parks.

  • Other May classes on the Hattiesburg campus that will be offered May 12-23 will include introduction to gerontology, introduction to Chinese culture and language, introduction to the Old Testament, music technology, reading and writing across the curriculum, performance assessment in education, Web page design, health and exercise and United States history to 1865.

  • Registration for the May-Term at William Carey University is April 7-18.

  • Incoming freshmen, junior and community college students must complete the admission process before registering for classes. Students may apply on-line at http://www.wmcarey.edu/.

  • For details, call (800) 962-5991 ext. 103 or (601) 318-6103 or e-mail admissions@wmcarey.edu.

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