How one college blends online and face-to-face learning
Another college has enhanced its curriculum to prepare for a fall semester hybrid of online and face-to-face learning.
Unity College, an environmentally-focused institution in Maine, has launched a new hybrid learning program that allows students to more seamlessly blend face-to-face classes with online or remote and hybrid learning, President Melik Peter Khoury said in a university statement.
“I’ve heard a lot of peers within our industry talk about returning to normal come this fall or next spring, but COVID-19 has made many of us question what ‘normal’ will look like when the dust settles,” Khoury said. “While many students remain interested in the college’s traditional four-year residential programs or its exclusively online curriculum, the pandemic has inspired many students to look for a more fluid college experience.”
The new program gives students more flexibility to choose when they start college. They can apply year-round for one of the college’s eight entry terms and complete their degrees through a mix of online, remote, onsite and on-campus courses.
More from UB: Here’s when and how colleges plan to start fall semester
Hybrid learning will start with two distinct units: The School for Conservation Professions and the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In fall 2020, the majors offered include Conservation Law Enforcement, Captive Wildlife Care, Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, Environmental Science, and Environmental Studies, with more programs in development.
Students can follow a traditional four-year model or create their own path through eight five-week terms. Tuition is based on the modality: it’s $550 per credit hour for face-to-face courses and $470 per credit hour for online courses.
Students who take one three-credit course per term are considered full-time and are eligible for financial aid. Housing and dining plans will be tailored to the pathways each student has created.
Students also have the option to accelerate their course load or stop-out.
Hybrid learning will become the College’s fourth Sustainable Education Business Unit (SEBU), joining Flagship, Distance Education and Sustainable Ventures. These units are set up to accommodate the needs of different groups of students.
“Hybrid learning is designed to be resilient to ever-changing internal and external uncertainties,” Khoury says. “We’re going to forego the gimmicks that have mortgaged the future of higher education for decades, and instead blaze new trails, work hard on making it affordable, accessible, and flexible.”
UB’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on higher ed.