Online Classes Are a Possibility for June Term
Emma White '22
Summer online classes for may be on the horizon for Randolph-Macon College. This addition to the school’s curriculum would provide students the opportunity to take more credits from the comfort of their home, at a lower price than required to stay on campus for the extra term. While this development is still in its early stages and has not been solidified by college officials at this time, the new approach to learning could prove to be an asset for certain students, while some may still prefer a traditional class setting.
The college currently offers a June term in which interested students can immerse themselves in a singular class in order to fill a credit need, complete a prerequisite, or raise their grade point average. Students who choose to enroll in June Term pay fees for registration, credit hours, housing, and on-campus dining. June Term is valuable for those who either want to get ahead in their degree requirements, or even make up for lost time if they had to withdraw from a past class or did not receive the grade they wanted.
While students are free to take courses at other colleges and universities, and can often transfer those credits to their R-MC degree, classes taken at other institutions do not count towards their Randolph-Macon GPA. In the past, the only option for raising one’s GPA would be to attend June Term or take extra classes during the regular semesters. Online classes would offer a feasible alternative for interested students.
The additional fees required to attend June Term could be a deterrent for those who do not want to pay for an extra month of housing and dining. Current summer classes cost over a thousand dollars per class, with housing and dining fees making up an additional thousand. Students who choose to enroll in online classes would save that additional thousand dollars if they chose to stay at home for the summer.
Interestingly, students who are not currently enrolled in R-MC’s degree program can attend June Term. Admission to June Term does not constitute admission to the college’s degree program, but summer classes taken at R-MC may be applied to a degree from the college if the student were to be accepted. It is possible that this same opportunity may extend to online classes.
Opening online classes up to the general public would bring the prospect of higher enrollment to the college and could provide a small taste of the R-MC curriculum to prospective students.
For students who tend to be more independent and who have a firm grasp of time management, online classes could be the ideal option. Since you are doing assignments and learning from home, the scheduling is much different and much more flexible than that of a regular semester.
You complete notes, lectures, and assessments on your own time, and overall have more of a say in how you learn. In this instance, you will only get back what you put into the experience. If you are not self-motivated, it is more likely that you will give up and end up with an incomplete class.
Though having online classes can be a good option for some, there are certainly benefits to a physical classroom setting that cannot be provided while taking an online course.
One thing that R-MC students benefit from during regular class sessions is the ability to maintain close relationships with professors. Due to our small class sizes, students and professors work closely together, and it is easy to contact and meet with a professor if you are struggling. Though students in online classes would still be in contact with their professors, there is a difference in receiving guidance over the internet as opposed to face-to-face. Especially when a student is struggling, those in person tutoring sessions are invaluable.
Randolph-Macon has seen a surge in enrollment this year, with a larger freshman class than ever before. If the school continues to grow at this rate, things will have to change. The addition of online classes to the school’s wealth of opportunity could be one of the many changes needed to accommodate our growing and evolving community.