Access: Meeting Students Where They Are

Guiding Principle: 3

This presentation highlights three proposals to increase student access to courses through expanded access to technology, varied course term lengths, and the creation of a shared course repository, available to students regardless of their campus assignment. 

Session Topic 1: Leveling the Computer Playing Field

Inconsistencies in student access to technology, both hardware and software, have never been more apparent. A student laptop requirement, combined with anywhere, anytime access to software, would level the playing field. Fiscal and organizational challenges can be overcome to create a unified student experience.

Session Topic 2: Semesters are a Social Construct: Classes out of the Box

Our academic calendar is the framework around which our curricula and policies hinge. The traditional semester boundaries are applied downstream in ways that hinder the development and implementation of student-centered, flexible academic experiences that do not fit within these periods. This talk presents key challenges and opportunities for moving forward.

Session Topic 3: Increasing Student Access to Summer Courses through a Shared Marketing Approach

We seek to greatly increase the access to courses and programs for all students regardless of their campus assignment. To pilot an approach, summer provides flexibility for students to take courses at any Penn State campus without the need for administrative action. Collaborative marketing of all Penn State summer courses will increase awareness of summer offerings across the Commonwealth and retain students who might otherwise look to take summer courses outside of the University. 

  • Kelly Griffith – Director, Office for Summer Session
  • Anthony Robinson – Associate Professor of Geography and Director of Online Geospatial Education Programs
  • Jennifer Sparrow – Associate Vice President, Teaching and Learning with Technology
  • Annie Taylor – Assistant Dean for Distance Learning and Director of the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences