Summer classes undergo changes due to COVID-19 precautions

After transitioning classes to online instruction, UCA has decided to also transition summer session courses to an online format in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With UCA having to adjust over the coming months due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, UCA’s regularly scheduled intersession summer classes are being altered. 

Given that the summer intersessions begin on May 11, Provost Patricia Poulter said that the campus had to assume there would be no chance of face-to-face classes, even if conditions could improve over the coming weeks. 

As far as graduation goes, there have been discussions about May graduates having the option to walk in a potential August commencement ceremony. 

“[Students should] talk with [their] academic advisor as soon as possible and try to be patient as the university works to ensure the courses they need and the support they need to catch up, stay on track, or get ahead in their academic program,” Poulter said.

Amy Hawkins, the director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at UCA and also an associate professor of public relations, said that the process of moving to online classes has varied in success for the professors at UCA.

The Center for Teaching Excellence usually helps professors in setting up online classes on a normal scale, but their work has been kicked into overdrive with all classes having to go virtual due to the coronavirus precautinos that have been put in place on campus.

When asked how she expected the transition to be, Hawkins said “It’s going to be on a spectrum, there are people who are already extremely comfortable … I’ve been very impressed with faculty’s participation in the training so far.” 

She also mentioned that her work with her students has adjusted well and that she was caught by surprise as to how they were reacting for the current semester. 

“What’s surprised me is how much they need me to express confidence in them that they can finish well,” Hawkins said. “They’ve needed more emotional support … every student is in my phone.” 

The time between now and the summer sessions beginning in May will be critical for professors to get everything lined up and ready. Hawkins compared it to “building summer classes” while “reacting to spring classes.” 

It is still important to register by the appropriate time for summer classes. The final day to register for the first rounds of summer classes are May 12 and 15. 

For more information regarding summer classes, please contact the UCA Registrar office as well as the appropriate advisor.

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