Students near and far getting ahead with flexible, relevant remote courses
Venkata Masagoni is pursuing two degrees at Arizona State University, so while he’s spending the summer back home in India, he decided to get ahead by taking 12 credits.
Masagoni is among a huge surge of students who are taking advantage of ASU’s broad course offerings this summer: Enrollment is up 16.5% from last summer with more than 56,000 students taking summer classes, a university record. More than 1,300 of them are newly admitted fall 2020 first-year students, an increase of 74% from last summer.
“I have been trying to pursue two degrees and graduate in time, which meant extra credits that I had to take,” said Masagoni, who lives in Hyderabad and is majoring in finance and data analytics. He’s taking a marketing course, a business analytics course and two computer information system classes.
“I also have a lot of time to focus on my studies this summer since I'm mostly home due to the circumstances we're in. This is a perfect opportunity for me to stay home and focus on my studies and hobbies.”
With daily life upended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASU stepped up to expand summer offerings, knowing that students needed more options.
“Our faculty have shown remarkable adaptability and an unyielding commitment to student success by making classes available through remote options and offering multiple start dates this summer,” said Executive Vice President and University Provost Mark S. Searle. “I am equally impressed by the students who have enrolled in summer classes — they are choosing to approach our present reality as an opportunity to make progress on their academic goals.”
More than 5,200 courses are offered, including relevant topics such as Pandemics and Public Management, Navigating Complicated Grief during COVID-19, and The Moviegoer’s Guide to the Future: Infectious Diseases.
In addition, 24 of ASU’s most popular courses are offered with multiple start dates throughout the summer for students who need flexibility. Among those are introductory classes in biology, chemistry, economics and psychology, as well as a course in popular music.
ASU also added incentives for summer students. Newly admitted first-year and transfer Sun Devils receive a $500 tuition award for every three credit hours enrolled, and “visiting scholars” from other universities can take advantage of a streamlined application process.
One of the first-year students who’s getting ahead is Logan Mizuba, who is taking two courses this summer: calculus for engineers and English 102.
“I’m striving to study abroad sometime in the next four years, so I'm taking some classes to free up some time and space for future semesters,” said Mizuba, who is majoring in aerospace engineering with a focus in astronautics — while he completes his senior year of high school in Hilo, Hawaii.
“Additionally, now that I've been in quarantine for almost two months now, I've grown bored of the same monotonous routines I've established for myself. With summer classes, I'm able to keep my mind busy and invigorated, while simultaneously getting ahead,” he said.
Starting ASU classes in the summer means more than just six credits for Mizuba.
“I'm most excited about the fact that I'm finally starting my career as an aerospace engineer, which has been my dream for so long now. And to finally get to learn about the field and pursue my passion feels fantastic,” he said.
The for-credit courses are just part of ASU’s schedule this summer. ASU for You, the university’s vast collection of online resources curated onto a single platform, also is available throughout the summer. That content, much of it free, is for all learners, from elementary school students to adults. It includes free online course materials for high school students from ASU Prep Digital; free self-paced modules in areas such as entrepreneurship, caregiving and sustainability; professional development courses created by ASU experts in topics including human resources and marketing; and many of ASU’s summer youth programs, such as hip-hop theater and veterinary science, which have switched to online.
One of the visiting scholars is Kennedy Kaminsky, who will be a junior at the University of the Pacific this fall. The Chandler resident plays volleyball at the Stockton, California, college. She is taking Biology 100 at ASU this summer to fulfill one of her general education requirements.
“I wanted to do something during the summer, especially because of the coronavirus, and this was the last general-ed course I needed,” said Kaminsky, who is majoring in communication.
“So, I picked ASU and then they told me about the program where I can take class and have it transfer to my university,” she said, noting that the process was easy.
ASU’s Session B starts July 1. Learn more at summer2020.asu.edu.
Video by Ken Fagan/ASU