So many colleges and universities have transitioned to online format to limit and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and Clarks Summit University is no exception. Fortunately for CSU, the university has offered courses since the 1990s, and all professors and students were already versed in the online learning management system.

Students who have always been pursuing a full degree online and students who are newly online students can both use CSU’s summer online course sessions to make strides toward their goals. Erica Young, CSU’s executive director of online learning, says that “taking an online course over the summer can help accelerate degree attainment. It is a great way to graduate sooner.” CSU summer online classes provide the opportunity for students to continue making progress toward earning their degrees, learning for personal development or pursuing professional development goals. There’s no need to wait for the traditional fall semester to start.

Online classes are ideal for fitting into fluctuating summer schedules of work and vacations since they are naturally more flexible than traditional, on-campus classes. Instead of meeting in-class at specific times throughout the week, students in CSU’s online classes are able to work on class material at any time. Traditional in-class meetings are replaced with a variety of other learning tools, such as videos, reading and discussion forums. Online classes can help undergraduate students develop study skills and good time management habits, as they practice keeping themselves on track in completing their assignments and achieving course objectives.

More than simply “independent study,” in CSU’s online classes, professors provide detailed feedback and interact with students through an asynchronous discussion forum. Young says that, through facilitating these vibrant discussions, CSU professors “help guide students toward credible information sources. They encourage students to think critically.” Students who take online classes can expect to be challenged by their online classmates of various ages and stages in life to consider new perspectives on class discussion topics.

Autumn Mason, worship studies major at CSU, is a traditional, on-campus undergraduate student who has taken online summer courses. She appreciates the “build-your-own-schedule” format and believes taking classes online in the summer can help students maximize time during the traditional, on-campus semesters. Taking summer classes allows students to have more time during the typical school year to devote to their courses, work and extracurricular activities and ministries.

CSU’s summer schedule is divided up into two sessions of online classes. The first summer online session will begin May 11th and end on Aug. 3. The second session will start on June 22 and end on Aug. 14. A full list of CSU’s available online classes for the summer 2020 session will be posted at ClarksSummitU.edu/online. New students interested in taking a summer online course can find more info at Discover.ClarksSummitU.edu, and returning students should contact their advisors. The application deadline for summer classes is April 29 and the registration deadline is May 1.

Taylor Stuck is a Clarks Summit University communications major.

Taylor Stuck is a Clarks Summit University communications major.

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