In an age when Covid-19 prevents groups of people from gathering, remote learning provides a safe option for individuals to pursue or resume a higher education degree without sacrificing a dynamic, engaging learning environment. Modern-day technology allows for professors to present their lectures live, welcome questions through virtual hand-raising, and facilitate spirited discussion among their students. Mark Mann, Assistant Vice President and Director of Campbellsville University’s Louisville Education Center, explains the similarities between remote learning and in-class learning experiences.
“You're face-to-face, and it's like being in the real classroom,” says Mann. “You're able to see the person that you're talking to and having that conversation with in real time, rather than waiting for an email saying ‘So-and-so replied to your discussion post.’ So you're really able to have those discussions in the same way.”
Students at Campbellsville University in Louisville average between 25 and 55 years old, and many are returning after years away from education. Contrary to online learning which lacks live conversation, remote learning provides interactivity and structure needed to support returning students with their coursework.
“If our students have class on Tuesday at 6 p.m., they log into Zoom or Teams on Tuesday at 6 p.m. to interact with their instructors and other students in their class, but from the safety of their homes,” Mann says. “And even though classes are being taught remotely, they will benefit from having faculty and staff here in Louisville to support their needs. So we are local and have very flexible schedules designed with the working adult in mind, as well as someone who graduated high school and wants to stay in Louisville and get a great education. We have options to fit any lifestyle.”
Flexible, affordable, local
The Louisville campus of Campbellsville University has long prided itself on offering the flexibility and affordability that returning students in the Louisville area need when also juggling full-time responsibilities like work and family. That’s why many classes are scheduled in the evenings, to make it convenient for those who need to work during the day.
“Especially now, many of those adult learners will have children who are doing non-traditional instruction at home. So they’re sitting at the dining room table doing their homework right along with their kids,” Mann says. “It offers the adult learner the opportunity to work whatever hours they need, and still pick up two or three hours of face-to-face lectures. They’ll submit their work either via our online portal or via email. Any of our student services, like tutoring or support options, they can use that. We’re there for them in the office every day.”
Tutoring is available remotely, through a program like Zoom or Teams, allowing tutors to share screens and walk students through the areas where they need additional help. Laptops and use of the school’s internet service are available for those who may have an unreliable connection at home. Online library resources are there to help returning students find the references they need, and cite them correctly in their work — potentially essential assistance to a student who hasn’t written a research paper in a decade.
The Louisville Education Center will kick off its fall semester with a “mask parade” party where students will drive though campus to receive T-shirts, books, and flash drives — with Graeter’s Ice Cream and an appearance by Campbellsville’s Tiger mascot as well. And afterward, “they’ll be logging in to meet with their class and their teachers face to face,” Mann says.
‘Don’t wait any longer’
Administrators at Campbellsville University in Louisville understand the importance of encouraging individuals to pursue and finish a higher education degree once they have taken a break from their studies. Sixty-four percent of students who take a “gap year” after their senior year of high school never go back to school, Mann adds, a risk that’s been heightened by the presence of the coronavirus. Even at Harvard, 20 percent of incoming freshmen are deferring their first year.
Each missed year of school is a year of lost potential earnings down the road. “Those lost earnings may compound each year, and can add up to a significant amount of money over their lifetime,” Mann says. “Each year that someone waits, it makes it that much more difficult to go back. So if there’s an adult learner out there who’s waited, don’t wait any longer.”
The economic downturn brought about by the pandemic has separated workers into essential and non-essential fields. It is important now, more than ever, that working adults and new high school graduates find a path into that former category — and a degree is the best way to get there. At Campbellsville University in Louisville, they see it every day: adults with jobs and children who find a way to continue their education and make better lives for themselves and their families as a result.
“We had a single father who was trying to raise a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old on his own, working a full-time job, and was able to come back to college to finish his degree in business to better his life for himself and his kids,” Mann says. “Stories like that are a dime a dozen at Campbellsville University in Louisville. We're creating servant leaders every single day, and that's what drives us. That's what motivates us.”
Campbellsville University in Louisville strives to minimize obstacles preventing individuals from earning a higher education degree, no matter what the situation. Even during a global pandemic, Campbellsville University in Louisville continues to adapt to keep your education flexible, affordable, local, and most importantly safe.
Interested in learning more about the remote learning opportunities available at Campbellsville University in Louisville? Call (502) 753-0264, peruse the nearly two dozen academic programs available, or visit their website for further information.