VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University students won't all get an "A" as some demanded in a petition but the university is preparing online alternatives for the rest of the semester.
Rodney Carr, vice president for student success, reviewed what students can expect as they prepare for digital learning.
“A few weeks ago, when this became a possibility, we began looking at ways of how we would react and developed a few things,” Carr said.
Students will be given access to library resources remotely and will be given an “academic coach” who will work with assigned students. Coaches will include graduate assistants, teachers, administrative assistants and coaches.
Some students have wondered what if they are people who learn and respond better in a traditional classroom setting.
Carr has three children and said his youngest son is a “face-to-face” learner.
“I'm getting those fears around my kitchen table,” Carr said. “I'm listening to every word he's telling me and what he's afraid of.”
For VSU faculty and staff, this will be more than just having students glued to a computer screen. All online classes will have tutoring inside them and are adding face-time to online tutoring support.
Carr said they are still working on “creative” ways to cover more hands-on classes such as labs and theatre, adding some labs may work at home.
While this may be overwhelming to students, Carr said faculty is connected to the students and there are no plans to extend the semester.
“We are all in this together,” Carr said.
The possibility of some students not having proper access to a computer or internet has also been discussed. Carr said there are some local plans taking place that would allow some students to come in to use computer labs in Odum Library for classes while still adhering to the safety rules in place.
As for the idea of giving every student an “A,” Carr said that is something the school's accreditation agency would never allow.
“Some students would even say they want their grades earned. They're leaning on us,” Carr said. “I think Valdosta State University is ready to meet that responsibility.”
He added the university does not want to add more costs to students and is awaiting instructions for refunds regarding housing, dining and other related costs.