By Chelsie Derman
With lower prices per class and in an effort to lighten up their coursework for future semesters, students continue to add online classes from the College to their summer schedules.
“The prices for summer classes are much lower for this year, so I decided to take advantage of that,” said Crystal Tran, a rising junior psychology major. She planned to take summer classes to satisfy requirements, but was anticipating taking these courses in-person prior to all instruction moving online due to the active pandemic.
Despite the woes of remote learning expressed by many students, the circumstances did not stop Tran from wanting to take more classes during the summer break. Before all classes moved to online instruction, Tran was already planning on enrolling in a few to allow for more room in her schedule for future semesters. She’s now one of many students taking advantage of the cheaper, remote summer courses.
“I had more free time since my original summer course was canceled and (I) wanted to learn a new skill, so I decided to enroll in an online course at a local college,” said Rachael Cenicola, a rising junior interactive multimedia major.
Cenicola was originally going to take a course during her study abroad program in London, but with the recent cancellation of all Fall 2020 study abroad programs, she took advantage of staying home. Like Cenicola, other students said they enrolled in summer classes after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to be conducted virtually.
“I originally wanted to take (psychology of meditation and mindfulness) before the pandemic, but because I commute from an hour away I could not drive to campus every day for three weeks,” said Sarah Kuper, a rising senior psychology major. “I decided to take the course because it moved online and I wouldn’t have to commute.”
Kuper, thrilled about taking the class, has no reservations despite the course moving online.
“I think this course is exactly what we need right now,” Kuper said. “I am used to online courses and am confident in the teachers at TCNJ to adapt and be flexible and reasonable with students during this time.”
Sixty percent of the students who responded to a survey conducted by The Signal said they hold no doubts for their upcoming summer courses. For some, knowing the professor who will be teaching their summer course brings reassurance.
“I do not (feel doubt) because of the professor,” said Benjamin Winkler, a rising sophomore computer engineering major. “He is one of the best professors at TCNJ.”
Winkler said that if any other professor were teaching his summer course, he might feel some doubt — but since Seung-yun Kim taught Winkler in the past, he feels confident that his virtual class will run smoothly.
Despite having to make the switch to online learning, summer courses appear to be keeping a consistent number of students enrolled. Remote learning provides many students who would have had a long commute to the College’s campus the option of taking classes from home — a silver lining many are taking advantage of.
Graduate student Shelly Rasnitsyn, a special education and iSTEM dual major, is also looking forward to taking more online classes. Before stay-at-home orders were implemented, Rasnitsyn had not planned to take summer classes, but the transition to virtual instruction changed her mind.
“I’m excited to get ahead of my master’s and am excited to continue to partake in online classes,” Rasnitsyn said.
Despite their adaption to online, students persist to minimize their future course load, make room for minors or another major, and immerse themselves in a subject of their choice.