College leaders are torn between their earnest desire to open campus classrooms for the traditional start of the 2020/21 academic year or to stay closed. The thought of crowded classrooms and teaming campuses with new and returning students, during the height of the COVID-19 epidemic, is frightening. The consequences can be lethal. The consensus among colleges is a cautious NOT YET!
New and returning students face their own dilemma: do they spend many months or even a year or so away from their studies, while waiting for the virus to “go away,” or hazard the campus crowds and traditional classrooms?
Now, thankfully, there is a viable alternative: take classes and earn degrees online. The only question is, “Which schools offer the best online programs?” Thousands of schools across the country are jumping into the online market, when only a few months ago they discounted online education as being second to the classroom model. COVID-19 advanced and, suddenly, campuses closed, and classroom instruction was necessarily cancelled. So, what’s a college to do? Jump online, of course!
Professional and well-done online instruction is NOT simply having instructors lecture into a video camera and broadcasting the lecture to students via Zoom or Skype. It is NOT a canned presentation by even the most gifted faculty renowned for motivational lectures. Quality online instruction is NOT a one-way monologue delivered to an empty lecture hall. The best online instructional program is a live interaction between faculty and students, preferably between one faculty and one student, allowing for questions to be asked and answered; information is exchanged, evaluated, and reported; live feedback is encouraged, and learning is ongoing through the entire multi-week course.
We know of only two colleges that offer one-on-one learning between a professor and a student, starting at the bachelor’s level through doctoral degrees. Both online colleges were founded by the same innovative educator during the past decades; and only one, California Southern University, has the experience of 40-plus years in quality distance learning.
Be safe and stay virus free. Protect yourself and your loved ones. Continue to work toward your personal and professional goals via online education. Stay home and take a single course or complete a three- or six-course certificate, complete your college degree, or start on that grad degree you have always dreamt about. Now is your time.
Thanks for reading.
Dr. Don Hecht, Founder, California Southern University.
“CalSouthern, we do it better”.