Students conflicted over winter break class option

Students conflicted over winter break class option

Beginning Dec. 17, UNA will offer online courses to students during winter break. The courses will end Jan. 8 and will not include weekends, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. The courses are offered online only.

“Winter session is a compressed academic term that offers students more flexibility and learning opportunities to help them complete their academic requirements,” said Amber Paulk, associate professor of sociology.

The online only option allows for the convenience of taking a class from home while on winter break, Paulk said.

Approximately 30 courses will be offered during this session and will be announced at a later date.

Ross Alexander, vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost, said he has been at previous institutions where winter session was offered and wanted to bring this opportunity to students at UNA.

“Other institutions offer this opportunity to their students and similarly UNA wanted to provide its students with more learning opportunities to help them complete their academic requirements,” Paulk said.

Paulk said these courses will provide additional opportunities for students to accelerate their path to graduation, lighten course loads of other semesters and meet prerequisites for future courses.

“UNA is committed to providing flexible course options for students to support on-time graduation and progress towards a degree,” Alexander said. “The University wants students to be successful while also minimizing debt burden upon graduation.”

However, some students would choose to not participate in this option.

“Personally, I wouldn’t take part in it because it’s a time to go back home and celebrate the holidays with family,” said sophomore Haley Green. “Most students want a break from school and that would take that away.”

Senior Rosie McClendon said she thinks it is a good idea but does not think it will work out.

“I think it would be great for upperclassmen who are trying to graduate on time,” McClendon said. “But for those going home, out of town or out of state, it would not be beneficial because it is a time to spend with family.”

McClendon said she personally would not use this option and would rather use her winter break as a break from classes and from school activities.

Some students do think the winter session will be a useful option for students.

“I think it is a wonderful opportunity to knock out required classes not required for your major, especially for those students who need to finish in a certain timeline,” said senior Walker Maddox. “I personally need a break, but for those who want to keep pushing, more power to you.”

Winter session will be combined with spring term, said Paulk.

Financial aid and payment plans can be applied but will be considered part of the spring term.

Credits earned during the winter session will be combined with credits earned in the spring term.