Union College added eight online classes this summer—including a new course called “Topics on Faith and Imagination” taught by 2003 Union graduate, pastor and prolific author, Seth Pierce.
“We want to make it easier for students to be able to take summer classes,” said Dr. Nicole Orian, who was recently named Union’s dean of online education in addition to her role as chair of the Division of Nursing. “Students responded so well to the courses we offered last year, we’re increasing their options again.”
After piloting two general education classes in literature and history last summer, Union is adding courses taught by Union professors in writing, psychology and religion, in addition to courses in economics, sociology and history offered through a consortium of independent colleges.
Most classes began May 7 along with Union’s on-campus, three-week summer session. The online courses typically run six weeks, giving students more options to complete the coursework. Some classes have a regular weekly online meeting time (synchronous), while others are asynchronous—they don’t have regular meeting times with the whole class.
For accounting major Tyler Dean, Union’s online option was a great alternative to picking up courses from another school back home in Denver. Already facing a packed schedule for his upcoming senior year, taking Microeconomics and Macroeconomics courses online this summer will allow him to graduate next May.
“It’s fantastic to take classes from wherever I am,” Dean said. “I was going to take the courses at a local community college before I found out about Union’s online option.”
Dean also appreciates a flexible schedule that allows him to study for an actuarial test and work some too. “I like that I can study whenever it works best for me,” he said.
Junior graphic design major Jovan Cross stayed on campus to work a full-time job this summer and is still able to pick up a course. His synchronous Ancient Western Literature class meets online twice a week for an hour. “I’m able to work during the day since the online class I’m taking starts in the evening when most offices on campus are closed,” Cross said.
“Union College is committed to providing the best education for our students,” said Orian. “We will continue to use technology to improve our offerings for current students, and we are also exploring ways to use online classes and programs to reach new markets.”