Fordham had a clear policy before the pandemic switched students to an online format: summer classes from another accredited 4-year university could only be transferred if the class was taken in-person. This policy was changed exclusively for the 2020 summer sessions: Classes could be transferred even if taken online. Dean Laura Auricchio of Fordham College at Lincoln Center explained that the University hasn’t “yet determined policies for summer 2021” and that they plan on reviewing how it went this summer first. Fordham should keep this policy in perpetuity as it would help with scheduling, create a broader selection of classes and potentially save students money.
Allowing for online classes to be transferred will make it possible for the student body to take classes they previously wouldn’t have been able to. They will no longer be bound by their location or Fordham’s online selection. The resulting broader range of classes would increase their choices over the summer and allow them to fulfill requirements earlier.
For example, the magic of online learning allows for a student from Hartford, Connecticut, to take a class in Houston, Texas, in the comfort of their home. Moreover, not all students can juggle an in-person class or Fordham’s online classes with summer jobs because of scheduling conflicts or the inability to afford to live in dorms over the summer.
A wider selection of summer courses also opens up the possibility of a diverse range of asynchronous classes. These would allow students to advance their education without their job or good grades being mutually exclusive. The participation grade in synchronous classes is often vital, and having classes that the student may take on their own allows them to juggle both classes and a job without having to sacrifice the grade. Many students also work during the year, and the ability to have the flexibility to take a class over the summer may allow for students to keep days open for work or internships.
By allowing students to have easier access to college credits, students could learn and work as they would be able to take classes outside of a normal schedule.
By allowing students to have easier access to college credits, students could learn and work as they would be able to take classes outside of a normal schedule. Fordham students would become more competitive upon graduation as taking online classes over the summer may allow them to pick up another minor, fulfill their pre-med requirements or make sure they graduate on time while still participating in an international program. It would also open up the opportunity for an early graduation.
Cost, in addition to scheduling, can keep students from expanding their minds over the summer. Online classes from other colleges may cost less than the courses offered at Fordham, which are $945 per credit. An in-state school may offer an almost identical class for half the price.
There are no opportunities for scholarships over the summer session, so a student who needs to take an online class at Fordham may not be able to afford it, leaving them at a disadvantage simply because of a lack of funds. By allowing online classes to be transferred, Fordham will be doing its part in leveling the playing field a little more.
Allowing online classes from other institutions to be transferred will benefit not only the student body, but Fordham as well. Students will have more class choice, more diversity and a more attractive university experience. In a competitive environment where Fordham aims to go up the university rankings, this would definitely contribute to student satisfaction.
There is no logical reason for Fordham to hold a monopoly on online classes, as we are able to transfer in-person classes from other institutions, and there is no difference in submitting a request for an online class and an in-person class. Fordham needs to sustain this policy in order to help students be successful in their college endeavors.