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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA administration hopes to expand online education

Savannah+Douglas+%2F+The+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AThe+second+UA+Faculty+Senate+meeting+took+place+in+the+Old+Main+Silver+%26+Sage+room+on+Monday.+Attention+spans+wavered+as+those+in+attendance+participated+in+the+question+and+answer+sections+with+President+Hart+and+Provost+Comrie+and+listened+to+the+open+session.+
Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wil
Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wildcat The second UA Faculty Senate meeting took place in the Old Main Silver & Sage room on Monday. Attention spans wavered as those in attendance participated in the question and answer sections with President Hart and Provost Comrie and listened to the open session.

The Faculty Senate focused on moving the UA toward the digital age during its monthly meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Vincent Del Casino, vice provost for digital learning and student engagement, headed the discussion informing the senators on how the university is looking to develop an online college.

Del Casino said the student demographic this is being directed at isn’t so much the crowd from 18-23 years old, but rather the 28- to 32-year-old who wants to finish their degree.

Del Casino also said that unlike school programs that separate the physical from the digital, the UA does not intend to simply make every degree offered available or every course available online overnight.

“We are going to take a much more measured approach to this entire approach,” Del Casino said.

In terms of the admission standards for students hoping to pursue the online route for their education, Del Casino also said students would be held to the same admission standards as students who are choosing to enroll for the physical campus.

“We are not going to chuck out what we are as a university in order to get online,” Del Casino said.

He also said that decisions would be made by sitting down and working with the departments to make sure what is offered is offered correctly.

Del Casino said that based on what has been seen at other universities, those who are able to physically attend the school will do so, whereas the online school will mostly be for people like working, single mothers who are unable to take time out of their day to get to campus.

Zachary Brooks, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council, asked if graduate students would be used to teach the online courses. Del Casino said that he felt they would be doing the graduate students a great disservice if they were not offered this opportunity.

William Neumann, a professor of practice at the Eller College of Management, asked about the availability of the online format to students enrolled at the physical university.

Del Casino said he believes the online format will be an option for students in extenuating circumstances, such as when they may have to go home for the semester. However, he also said students will not be free to change from one to another as they please.

Del Casino added that the online university will most likely be cheaper per credit compared to the physical university so as to allow those who want to be a part of the program the freedom to do so. They may actually finish the program rather than pushing themselves to take extra credits to save money, Del Casino said.

Del Casino also said the tuition will most likely be a flat rate for all individuals who choose to partake in the online program, whether they be out-of-state or in-state students.

“The first thing to understand is when we talk about online education and what we are trying to do as a university is that this isn’t something that is new to us, but rather an ongoing project,” Del Casino said. “The question is: where do we go next?”

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