GSU increases online course offerings for summer

Lauren Gorla

Georgia Southern University is increasing the number of online classes offered for the summer terms this year in hopes to attract students from GSU as well as from other schools.

This summer, GSU is offering over 1,600 courses face-to-face from May to July, in A-term, B-term and long-term.

“We felt like there are a lot of universities in the state that don’t offer as many online courses during the summer or courses in summer in general,” Christian Flathman, director of the Office of Marketing and Communications, said.

The university will now be offering 381 online courses to meet the demands of the growing summer term enrollment, Flathman said.

“There’s a high level of interest from students, and the number of students taking these summer classes is increasing,” Flathman said.  “Our strategy is that the addition of online courses will open new opportunities to attract students from around the state and the country.”

By offering more online courses, students have the opportunity to go home and still take an online course and avoid the headaches of taking a course at a local institution, Flathman said.

“Whether students are planning to go home for the summer or working a full-time job, they can get ahead or take a class that they may not have been able to get during the regular school year,” President Brooks Keel said in a news release.  “Even better, two of our summer terms are only a month long.”

“We want to give Georgia Southern students, high school students and even students from other colleges and universities a variety of options to take one or more classes that they need this summer fully online,” Keel said.

In comparison, University of Georgia is planning to offer only 75 online courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, but this number could change before registration in April, Kris Biesinger, interim director of the Center of Online Learning, said.

GSU is taking extra time and effort to find more employment opportunities on campus for students who will be staying in Statesboro and taking classes, Flathman said.

“Georgia Southern is putting in a lot of thought into the summer term and the summer opportunities for our students, and we’re pretty proud about it, and I think that it will give our students an edge up and an ability to get ahead and complete their degree on time,” Flathman said.

Students staying on-campus and taking classes will be living in Freedom’s Landing, which could be much cheaper than finding an apartment, Flathman said.

“We are offering an opportunity to live on-campus by term in Freedom’s Landing so students can live on-campus for the one month term versus trying to sublease an apartment they can just live here for a month or even the long term,” Flathman said.

Flathman said, “I would encourage students that may not only want to pursue an online course that we do have a total of 1,600 courses that we’re offering here in the summer. So obviously the shorter semesters, the opportunities to stay on track or get ahead with graduation, whether they choose an online course or a on-campus course, there are a number of advantages for both.”