Registration is now open for Winter Session, an online-based term to help students get ahead or catch up on courses. This the second year for the program. Gale Rhodes, vice provost, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, tells UofL News what’s led to the program’s success and what’s in store for the next session.
UofL News: For those that don’t know, what is “Winter Session”?
Gale Rhodes: Winter Session is a university-wide academic session that runs during UofL’s winter break, and offers a selection of accelerated three-week undergraduate and graduate courses. Delivered through a 100-percent online format, these courses present students with the opportunity to catch up or get ahead in their studies.
UofL News: What was the reason for starting the program last year?
GR: Here at the University of Louisville and within the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, we are continuously evaluating new ways to help our students succeed and stay on track to graduation. After researching the success of similar sessions at other colleges and the student-demand for year-round courses, the university chose to launch Winter Session last year to provide students a way to stay engaged in the learning process over the winter break.
UofL News: How successful was the first year? What did you learn that has helped shape the program moving forward?
GR: We believe Winter Session 2017 was very successful for a pilot program. We offered 31 courses, generating 530 enrollments, a response that validated the perceived demand for a chance to take courses over the winter break. Furthermore, following a post-Winter Session survey, we learned from participants that Winter Session was extremely important for lessening course load in future semesters (92 percent), meeting intended graduation timelines (85 percent) and having a convenient way to accelerate their studies (93 percent).
Based on these findings and feedback from students, we’ve adjusted our course offerings this year to better meet the needs of our students. And these adjustments are already paying off. We saw a huge increase in enrollment on the first day of registration, with three times as many students registering for a winter session course this year compared to last. Within the first few days of registration, over 200 students have enrolled, and we expect to continue to see that number grow as advising continues and students consider their options.
UofL News: Who is the ideal Winter Session student?
GR: The session is open to UofL’s current on-campus, online and returning students, as well as new, transfer and visiting students from other universities. Given the online and accelerated nature of the session, students do need to be focused, driven and organized to succeed in Winter Session courses. With the right motivation, this is a great opportunity to make up for lost time, complete extra credit hours or squeeze in an additional elective or gen ed requirement between semesters.
UofL News: How many overall courses will be offered this year?
GR: Building on the success of the 2017 program, this year’s Winter Session offers even more online courses for students to choose from. More than 60 courses are available across various disciplines within the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Business, Kent School of Social Work and the College of Education & Human Development.
Current University of Louisville students can enroll in Winter Session courses online and clicking the “Register Now!” Button. New, transfer and visiting students first need to apply for admission to the university and will be given a chance to enroll once that process is complete.