SWU programs achieving success online amidst COVID-19 concerns
As Southern Wesleyan University adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic, its SWU Online degree programs that were already serving about 44 percent of the student body have gone on virtually unaffected.
With previous innovation and experience in creating online platforms, it was more of an organic response to convert all on-campus courses in an online format, thanks to the hard work of academic departments, working with the Provost’s Office, Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and IT department. As spring break drew to a close, faculty were transitioning their courses for as long as would be needed to an online platform and were able to resume classes March 19, the Thursday after the end of spring break.
“In spite of some on-campus full and part-time faculty having never taught online, our faculty have done a tremendous job transferring face-to-face instruction to the virtual environment,” said Dr. April White Pugh, Southern Wesleyan’s provost. “Students have quickly caught on and have participated in numerous Zoom or other teleconferencing sessions since the transition to fully online.”
Spiritual Life continues to minister to students through video streaming of chapels. Also, students, faculty and staff are hitting social media from wherever they are, with posts ranging from words of encouragement to a musical performance, plus news about university services available to them while off campus, including tutoring or career services.
SWU’s Student Financial Services continues to operate under normal processing timelines, communicating with students and releasing aid notifications without delay, and SWU’s admissions operations have been running at full speed using adaptations of virtual campus tours and social media utilization with applicants.
“There is always a silver lining in disruption, and one for sure is increased innovation,” said Dr. Brian Swords, vice president of enrollment management and marketing.
“We have had to rethink activities, student organization support, convocations and even graduation. We know change can be difficult especially for elements that have stood the test of time, but when forced at such a time as this, it is truly amazing what a community like Southern Wesleyan University can do,” said Dr. Todd Voss, Southern Wesleyan University president.
Southern Wesleyan also continues to provide updates on its COVID-19 responses, regularly updated at swu.edu/coronavirus.
Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, go online to swu.edu.