Extended Learning Springs Forward during WinterSession
Only eight classes met on the main campus and at the Metro Center during January's WinterSession, but enrollment was up 21 percent over last year. The explanation: 28 online classes.
With total enrollment of 802 students, "it was a banner year for WinterSession," said Tom Ingram, director of academic programs for the Division of Extended Learning. The 2011 enrollment for winter was 11 percent above the previous best year in 2009.
"The demand for courses during WinterSession has always been there, but since moving the majority of our courses to an online format," Ingram said, "it's easier for people to be able to go home to spend time with their family but also take a course."
The School of Business Master's of Business Administration program enjoyed similar success with a spike in enrollment that MBA Director Tammie Sullivan '04, M '05 attributed to the launch of its online edition in January.
Ingram said the WinterSession's most popular online classes - "Earth's Fury," a geology course, and "Corporate Finance," for example - exceeded 70 students each.
Ingram said students pack intensive three-credit courses into three weeks between semesters for a variety of reasons. "They are often anxious to earn the credits to either get ahead in order to lighten the load during the semester or even graduate early, while other people use the time to catch up on a course they may be missing," he said.
The similarly structured Summer Sessions begin May 23.
— Julie Harrison Blissert
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