Staff Report | Q&A compiled by staffers and multimedia journalism classes
A-State students are living through an unprecedented time due to coronavirus. A lot of students were forced to move out of their dorms and had to adapt to online classes. Students of all ranks and majors have been affected and some shared their experiences so far.
Freshman Dustin Russenberger is a graphic design major from Augusta, Arkansas.
Sophomore Shannon Johnson is a music education major from Cave City, Arkansas.
Junior Cailyn Long is nursing student from Blytheville, Arkansas.
Senior Savannah Williams is a physical therapy major from Cave City.
Q: What do you think about having classes online for the rest of the semester? Have you had any challenges?
Russenberger: The online class transition was very important in limiting the transmission of COVID-19.
I feel like the biggest issue I’ve had with online classes is just not being used to them, I’m used to the teachers telling us about assignments and due dates and now I have to go find that information and remember it in a totally different way.
Johnson: Having online classes is better than not having any class at all, but there still are some challenges. My professors are doing the best they can (and I love and appreciate them all for it).
There are some trials that are made with this, mainly with the internet connection itself. At home for some reason my internet is waving in and out to where I can only hope and pray that my assignments get turned in or that I can attend a class. Being a second-year music education major, I have classes like aural theory that are already very complicated face to face, much less over a video chat.
Of course, my professors are amazing and completely understand, I just feel I can’t put as much into the class as I want to because of this. Also, with some of the professors running assignments completely different than the others, though it is expected, it is kind of confusing.
Long: I would very much rather be having the classes online than to not be having them at all. I have seen where some schools/colleges have ended the school year completely for those who were in good standing, but for me I would still like to get my education, and learn as much as possible.
It is difficult to switch and adjust to the online atmosphere, especially in nursing school. We have had to stop doing clinical at the hospital where we care for real patients, and do online virtual simulations, its just not the same, although I am glad we do have this option through A- State. Our professors though are very helpful and have gone above and beyond by providing recorded lectures, study guides, cell phones numbers and zoom meetings in order to get the help we need.
Williams: Online classes have never been something I have been interested in or wanted
to do. I feel like you miss out on the full college experience and the ability to interact with your professor and classmates personally.
I am a senior and getting the end of my senior year cut short on campus was definitely something I was not excited about. However, I know that it was the safest option for both the students and faculty.
For me, it is difficult to keep up with working at a pharmacy, attending to all six classes and their pending deadlines, and actually learn something without feeling stressed or overwhelmed. As of now, I haven’t had any major challenges other than just being stressed out and receiving lower test grades than I am used to for some courses.
Q: What do you think about the credit/no credit option for final grades for this semester? Will you take that option in any of your classes if it is offered? Why or why not?
Russenberger: The credit no credit option is exactly what college students need, with
everything going on around us it can be very difficult to focus on course work the way we need to and now with this option, we don’t have to stress ourselves even more over assignments in the most troubling time of many of our lives. I myself will likely not utilize this option because my grades are high enough so that it wouldn’t do any good.
Johnson: I have a very strong opinion for the credit/no credit grade system. I do not care
for it, and I will not do it. Of course, I get the merit in it because of all Jonesboro and the campus has gone through these past few weeks. Being someone who has good grades and has a 3.3-3.4 GPA to where with my grades will make it a 3.5 is pretty much guaranteed I wish to have that because of the more scholarship opportunities that will be given to me.
Then looking into grad school and knowing the “pass/fail” will affect me in a bad way, it doesn’t seem like a good option for me. I am very thankful for Dr. Damphousse and that he gave us a choice. I have worked hard and am continuing to work hard for my grades and GPA. I am thankful that is going to not be taken away.
Long: I think for some the credit/no credit option could be rather beneficial. I know we are all struggling right now, and some way more than others. It is a stressful time so I think having that option helps, and it shows that A-State is taking care of their students as much as they can.
I also like that you can opt out of it as well, for me I cannot, or it is recommended not to participate in it because of my degree plan. I am a Bachelor of Science in Nursing major, and if I want to go to graduate school for my masters, to get my APN, this could hurt that or cause some trouble. I do like the idea though and I hope it puts those at ease who need it.
Williams: I think the credit/no credit option is helpful to some extent, but at the same
time can hurt others. Given the current situation, I think that maybe it was the best option overall for the student body. Regarding my personal situation, I am applying to a doctorate school on campus.
Luckily, I was able to submit all of my requirements prior to the onset of the pandemic. They require a certain GPA be maintained, so I am not sure how they are going to adjust to accepting the new credit/no credit option. If I had the opportunity to choose the new grading system if it was offered, I probably would choose to utilize it. It takes away the pressure of having to maintain a perfect GPA for scholarships and programs, something that might be helpful during this already stressful time.
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