While most members of the New Paltz community retreated for winter break, some participated in the College’s first-ever Winter Session, a pilot program that gave students a chance to get ahead or catch up by taking one of four online courses.
“It took a real effort from Admissions, Records & Registration, Extended Learning, Financial Aid, and other offices on campus,” said Philip Mauceri, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Everyone worked together and got the program up and running in very little time.”
Because it was a pilot program, only three classes were initially offered. “We’d never done it before, so it was hard to tell how much demand there was,” said Mauceri. Within hours of opening registration, the courses began to fill up. A fourth course was added, and that also filled to capacity. “It far exceeded our expectations. There was clearly a pent-up demand for this,” Mauceri said.
Winter Session was held Jan. 2-21. The courses offered were “Art of the Western World II” taught by Professor Kerry Carso (Art); “Survey of Communication Disorders” taught by Professor Stella Turk (Communication Disorders); “Media and Society” taught by Professor Jerry Persaud (Communication & Media); and “Evolution for Everyone” taught by Professor Spencer Mass (Biology).
“We will assess the results and that will help us decide how many classes and which classes will be offered next winter,” said Mauceri. “If the results are positive and indicate that our goals have been met, then we’ll look at permanently installing a winter session.”