In the beginning of September, President Ellen Junn announced via email that the spring 2021 semester would continue to be primarily virtual. Students had barely begun the semester and many did not know how they would approach classes this fall, let alone next spring. Now with a bit more experience handling a primarily online education style, and with registration for the spring 2021 semester approaching quickly, students are forced to make a decision on how they will be addressing their education in the spring.
The Stan State website has already posted the dates that students will be able to register for classes in the spring 2021 semester, and many students are able to confirm their exact date on their MyStanState portal. This gives students less than a month to make a decision on how to tackle the upcoming semester with the first day of registration beginning on November 2nd for those with the highest level of priority.
Some students, such as Andre Davis (junior, Biology), feel more prepared for the spring semester now that they have already experienced a primarily online format. “I’m a lot more comfortable now then I was before so I’m fine with it. Taking online classes has been good overall, so I’ll just wait on classes that I’ll need more of a hands-on approach in,” explains Davis.
Daniel Hermiz (junior, Biology) mirrors the sentiment of Davis with a newfound enjoyment of online classes. “I actually enjoy the online experience, and many professors seem to be very understanding during this time. It has been easier than I expected it to be and I am very comfortable with it”
While some students are bound to adapt and thrive in this new style of learning, it is inevitable that there will be others who encounter additional challenges and will be eagerly awaiting the return of in person classes.
Ruben Mascorro (sophomore, Business Administration) is one of many who are against the online format and is waiting until classes return in person before returning to Stan State. “I don’t plan on going to school during the spring 2021 semester. I feel less included and there is much less interaction in my opinion,” explains Mascorro.
Other students are planning to return to the virtual campus in the spring despite conditions not being that of which they prefer. Valnten Singh (senior, Business Administration) has already considered how the changes will affect her. “I will be taking fewer units and instead of graduating in two years from now, it will take me longer. I do think they should lower the tuition fee though because the quality of education is not the same.”
Regardless of whether students are for or against another semester being online, many have discovered that some aspects of online education are significantly different from the traditional in person format.
“I try to avoid group projects now because it is already hard in class to get everyone working together and putting the same effort in for a good grade. Now that it is online and everyone is working individually to an extent even in group work with minimal interaction, you cannot force someone for input on a project and it can be hard to tell the professor about it.” explains Singh.
Other students such as Mascorro have turned a negative experience into an opportunity to see how they learn best. “Online classes have felt like less of a class and instead just feels like another thing I have to do. I personally do not feel like I’m learning as much as I would in person, so I’d rather wait on classes being back to normal and taught in person.”
Despite many mixed opinions on the decision by Chancellor White to conduct the spring 2021 semester primarily online, students have found ways to adapt and move forward. While some may take a break from taking classes while they are conducted online, others will be dreading the day when students will be back in classrooms. Either way, spring semester 2021 is already approaching and students will have to be ready for it one way or another.