West Virginia University students who want to lighten their regular term class load, or just get a few credits ahead, will be able to do so under a new winter term approved unanimously by the Board of Governors Friday (Oct. 27).
The Winter Session will be offered exclusively online from Dec. 14 to Jan. 4, 2018 and will be limited in offerings and enrollment, Paul Kreider, associate provost for undergraduate education, told the board.
“Some students may want to take the courses to retain their scholarship or their financial aid,” Kreider said. “Some students may want to take the winter term because it will allow them to get ahead, or not come in the summer.”
The new term may also help students maintain good academic standing and preserve scholarships, as well as improve retention and four-year graduation rates.
Enrollment will initially be limited to 255 students; cost is set at a flat rate of $349 per credit hour, based on regular in-state tuition and fees, regardless of residence. A dozen courses will be offered from four colleges: Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts, College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences and Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design .
Promotion of and registration for the courses will begin next week, Kreider said.
Kreider noted that several competing schools which offer winter terms have seen them grow in popularity.
“I think this is a really good demonstration of some creative and some very quick and nimble work,” Provost Joyce McConnell said. “It gives our students flexibility and ability to shore up their GPAs and move ahead in terms of required courses.”
The session will be administered by WVU Online.
“WVU Online is pleased to give students an opportunity to earn additional credits during a downtime on campus,” WVU Online Dean Keith Bailey said following the Board approval.
“Students who are looking to quickly earn credits in a GEF, or those wanting to lessen their spring 2018 academic course load, would benefit from taking a Winter Intersession course.” he said. “Winter Intersession allows students to satisfy degree requirements while helping them move towards graduation.”
Also Friday, the Board approved a notice of rulemaking governing several administrative areas, including changes rules relating to organizations; naming of buildings; separation of programs and personnel at administratively-linked institutions; Board of Governors meetings; emeritus status; policy regarding discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual and domestic misconduct, stalking, and retaliation; children on campus; and the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
This is the second of a planned multi-step process to update University policies to rules as permitted by a law passed by the state Legislature earlier this year. Rules governing the University’s human resources activities were previously updated and revised under this procedure.
The proposed changes, along with a chart highlighting them, will be available at the Rules, Policies and Procedures website. The proposed changes will be posted for a required 30-day public comment period from Oct. 30 through Nov. 28. The rules may be changed, subject to comments received. The comments, or summary thereof, and final proposed rules will be posted for 10 days prior to the Board taking final action.
The Board also received the annual report on textbook affordability. The reports shows that faculty on all three campuses met the deadline for assigning textbooks and that the viability of more affordable options, such as textbook rentals and used books, continues to grow, accounting for 26 percent of all textbook sales, saving students an average of 50 percent or more over new textbooks.
In other action, the Board:
· Received the fiscal 2017 financial report and audit statement showing the University is in stable financial condition. Also heard that the University had received another “unqualified opinion” from its auditors, the best possible and reflecting that the University’s policies and financial statements fairly represent its condition.
· Approved several new degree programs, and related changes, including:
· A new master of science in resource economics and management; terminating current master of science in agricultural and resource economics
· Changing the current sports and exercise psychology to a new major in sport, exercise, and performance psychology within the kinesiology Ph.D. program.
· A new bachelors of science degree in sports and adventure media in the Reed College of Media.
· Approved a $6.8 million renovation of the Milan Puskar Center Training Room.
The next meeting is Dec. 15 in Morgantown.
CONTACT: John A. Bolt; University Relations/Communications
Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.