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ORM Podcast: Be Bold Transcript


Hi everybody. And welcome back to this week's episode of the Online Roadmap Podcast, WVU Online's own podcast series. And today I am joined by Julie Thalman, who is the executive director of WVU Online. And we're going to talk a little bit about Winter Intercession. So thanks for joining the show today, Jule.

Thanks for having me Amber excited to be here. Yeah. So if you would like our guests to do a little introduction of themselves, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do at the university. Sure. As Amber said, I'm Julie Thalman, I'm the executive director of WVU Online and WVU Online. We have a suite of online degrees and certificates so that students can be a Mountaineer wherever they may be.

And we also oversee specialty. So summer, winter and may master. Yeah. May miss there's new. So we were very excited to launch that last year and similar, similar to the main masters, our winter intersession, which is our topic of choice today. So can you tell us a little bit more about the Winter Intercession at WVU?

Yeah. When our inner session started a few years ago and is wildly popular with our state. Students can earn up to five credits in three weeks, the courses are a hundred percent online and students can either, you know, get ahead. Or if they're wanting to take a course that interests them, that maybe doesn't fit into the traditional term.

There's a lot of options. We also allow Students who are visiting, who may not be at WVU student, but they can come in and take one of our courses. And again, it's really popular. I mean, how can it not be popular when you can offer or go to earn five credits and just three weeks? Yeah, it's really an awesome experience for our students to, to get some credits out of the way over the winter break.

So classes being over winter break, can you tell us like what our students should expect? Are they expected to take classes, you know, over the holidays, like Christmas Eve or Christmas day or the new year's day? What does that look like first year? That's a great question, Amber, you know, students, it's, it's a pretty intensive three weeks.

However, we do realize it's the holidays. So classes are not held on Christmas Eve, Christmas day or new year's day. So they do have those three days to, you know, spend time with our friends and family. But other time, those courses, like I said, they're pretty, pretty intensive. You're condensing, essentially 16 weeks of learning material.

Students need to be ready, and they need to be prepared. There's usually assignments and discussion posts done just about every day. Okay. And then what about, this is kind of just thinking about the weekends as you were talking there are students, could they be doing work on the weekends then? Or is that something that maybe they should expect to be doing this.

Yeah, students really need to be prepared to log in daily to those online courses and probably spend a few hours a day. You know, again, there's discussion posts, projects, quizzes, papers, it's up to the individual instructor, how they choose to, you know, structure the courses, but students really need to be engaged.

It takes a lot of time management. To be successful at Winter Intercession, but I know that students can do it and the data proves that they can, our students love it. They love those condensed courses. And they're really seeing good grades because they have the opportunity to focus on one subject matter and you know, a sorter amount of time, but it allows them to just stay focused, stay motivated and knock something out in three weeks.

Yeah. That's awesome. Awesome. Great information. Thank you. So the classes being fully online, should the students expect those to be synchronous where they have to, you know, log in and a certain day at a certain time? Or are they mostly, are they all asynchronous during the Winter Intercession? That's another great question.

Our classes are asynchronous during the winter and our session, which means that students can log in at their convenience. If they're a morning person and they're going out with their friends one evening, they can log in at any time and get that work done. And sometimes people are a night owl, so they want to sleep in and then they want to focus on their studies at night, whatever is the best schedule for the student is how to be successful during Winter Intercession.

Yeah, that's great. The synchronous classes are really nice. I know me personally, I'm always like a morning person when it comes to classwork. So I'd like to get up, have my coffee, do some, do some work in my classes and then, you know, go about the rest of my day. So it's nice that it's able to fit into the student's schedule that.

Yeah, same with me. You know, I earned my graduate degree online and I would get up early and knock out my work at five in the morning. And by 7:00 AM, I was done with my homework. So I just think, you know, the asynchronous concept really allows students to be who they are and give students the most amount of flexibility and still be successful.

Yeah. Yeah, I totally agree. And that's awesome. And when I talk a little bit about the cost for our students, so can you tell us what the tuition is for Winter Intercession and both for graduate and undergraduate students? Sure. Undergraduate costs for winter intersessions. So it's $381 per hour. And at the graduate level, it's $574 per hour.

Okay. And that's a flat rate, correct? Correct. That's a flat rate. That includes everything. There's no hidden fees behind it. Perfect. Perfect. So that's nice too. It could be a little bit of a discount for some of our students who are maybe out of state or off campus or whatever, whatever the situation may be.

Yeah, absolutely. And we do see a lot of non-residents taken advantage of that discounted rate for Winter Intercession. That's a great point. Yeah. It's a good opportunity. Good opportunity. So how many I know you said that students can take up to five credits and you mentioned that they can take no more than two classes, is that correct?

Yeah, that is correct. The majority of our courses are three credit hour courses. And students oftentimes want to take up to five hours so they can take a one, three credit hour class, for example, and couple that with a two-hour class, or they can take a three-credit hour class and take a one credit hour class.

They just have to limit that to five hours. And the reason behind that is, you know, as I mentioned earlier, We're condensing 16 weeks of material into three weeks. So there's a lot of preparation that needs to go out there and the students really need to be engaged and committed because they are going to have quite a bit of work to do so that way.

By limited in it to five credit hours. It's not overwhelming, but it still gives them an opportunity to earn credits, take some of those courses that they might not be able to fit into their schedule otherwise, and either get ahead or even current. Yeah. Yeah. And that was kind of leading into my next question.

So are there any other benefits that you can think of? I know you said getting ahead, getting caught up, maybe taking a GEF. I mean, any other benefits to the term that that students can, can really use to utilize the term. Yeah. You know, other than the benefits you mentioned, I can't stress enough. The focus piece, you know, students seem to love being able to focus on one course that particular material over three weeks.

And we are seeing some students, you know, use it to help boost their GPA. For example, get ahead. Maybe even keep on track to graduation. And a lot of times, you know, there might be a GEF, maybe that a student was dreading, and they just didn't have time to fit it in their schedule. And then they look, and they see it.

Oh, I can take that. Alone and I can focus on it. I know personally, you know, there's some subjects that I struggled with. So if I would have had the opportunity to take a class that maybe might be a little more challenging for me and just to focus on that material, that would have been a win-win. So I just think that it's a great opportunity for students.

And as we mentioned earlier, you know, at the flat rate for the undergraduate at three, they want an hour. That is quite a significant discount for our out-of-state residents. Yeah, that's great. I love that. You said, you know, even boost your GPA and that's kind of going to lead me into my, even my next question is, so a student who is going to take winter, what, what term is winter attached to?

Is it attached to the fall so that they can boost their GPA for spring? Or is it attached to spring or how does that work? It's just great with the questions that the winter intersession is attached to the fall term. So there are times when our students might be at that capacity in terms of how many credits they've already taken for the semester.

So just by talking to one of our enrollment coaches out in WVU Online, They can, you know, have a conversation and determine what's best for them. And then students can also go to the Winter Intercession website, fill out a form so that our coaches have an opportunity to look. And, you know, for example, oh, Amber has taken 16 hours and she wants to take five credits.

Let me make sure she can do that. So I really encourage students to be. Proactive go to the winter dot, website, click on that form and submit that form early classes feel quickly because it is popular. And a lot of times, you know, I think it's important that students know, just because you got approved to take.

You still have to register for that course and being approved necessarily doesn't mean that you're guaranteed a seat. So some of those classes that feel quickly, I really encourage students. Once you get approved to take that class, go in and register, it only takes you a couple of minutes to do so. And then you're guaranteed a seat.

Yeah. And classes do feel really, really quickly. So that's a great point to make. They, like you said, maybe they want to get ahead for spring. And so being that's attached to fall, then they can boost their GPA or do what they need to do to get into their spring classes. So it's important to do that as early as you can.

So especially, I mean, we have some popular classes offered in the winter, I think so. So it's good to get out there and get in early. So, Julie, I appreciate you joining us today. And I, I always love to leave our listeners with kind of just one last piece of advice. So do you have any advice that you'd love to offer students about winter intersection?

Yeah, I think, you know, to your point register early, but first and, you know, I think the first thing to be successful and a condensed term is really map out your schedule, figure out what works best for you. When you're going to commit to getting that work done. And even if you can look a little ahead, try to work ahead.

If, you know, for example that on one of the weekends, over the Winter Intercession, you're going skiing, for example, with your friends and you're going to have assignments due. So just really good time management, look ahead, make sure you have all of your assignments ready and, you know, submit it on time.

And I think you'll be wildly successful. It's definitely a win for Winter Intercession. I love it. I love it. That's fantastic. Thank you so much for joining us today and taking some time to answer questions about the term. And I know our students will be getting out there and getting ready to register. Registration opens on October 20th.

So I just wanted to let our students know that and yeah, just get out there and register guys. Thank you so much. Thanks, Amber, this is great. All right, have a good one, guys. We'll talk soon. Thank you.

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