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Davis: Summer Sessions

Although the records of summer session enrollments on the Davis campus begin with 1946 there is evidence of summer students as early as 1929. The first offerings were short courses for teachers of agriculture. By 1946 there were 70 graduate students enrolled in two regular sessions. Summer study attracted increasing numbers of students and in 1948 a special session in midsummer was inaugurated in addition to the first and second sessions. Courses of particular interest to teachers and agricultural extension agents were offered and until 1960, the special session was the most popular summer program.

By 1955 campus growth made possible an expanded variety of course offerings and in 1961 upper and lower division subjects were added for students who wished to accelerate their studies or make up deficiencies. The special session was discontinued in 1964 and agricultural instruction was integrated into the other sessions.

By 1968, course offerings totalled 65 and attracted undergraduates, graduate students, elementary and secondary school teachers and others. For teachers of science, mathematics, language arts and social science, courses in new concepts and techniques in teaching were instituted. Dramatic art courses, in which the students analyzed and produced a work by a major playwright, provided the campus with a principal summer cultural event.

There were more than 450 summer session students in 1962, 630 in 1963 and nearly 700 in 1964. Guiding this growth from 1946 until his retirement in 1965, Sidney S. Sutherland, director, continued instruction in agriculture and introduced new subjects in the arts and sciences in accordance with the development of Davis into a general campus. In 1965, Walter L. Woodfill, chairman of the history department, became the director.

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