Zoe Mulraine 0

Vanderbilt to Accept Online Classes as Transfer Credit

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To Whom It May Concern:

Recently, Vanderbilt University has striven to become a financially inclusive university that allows students of all socioeconomic statuses to thrive. Though significant steps have been taken to level the playing field between students from high- and low-income households, there are still certain barriers for Vanderbilt’s less affluent students. Namely, the inability of students to take online courses as transfer credit during the summers hinders the ability of many students to get ahead or catch up with their coursework requirements during summer breaks because of financial strain. The cost and inflexibility of in-person classes can prohibit some students from being able to take courses during summer breaks. Pre-approved online classes should be accepted by the university as transfer credit for the following reasons:

  1. Online classes can often be taken at much cheaper prices than in-person classes.Tuition for online classes is usually less expensive and online classes usually do not have significant transportation costs. Therefore, students of all financial backgrounds could have a chance to further their education between their semesters at Vanderbilt.
  2. Many students are required to work during their college summers. Many others use their summers to gain internship and professional experience. Online classes allow schedule flexibility that is non-existent in most in-person classes. Therefore, students would not have to pick between making an income/gaining professional experience and taking a class that they need. This benefit can also apply to students who spend their summers traveling or studying abroad.
  3. Though there may be concern about the rigor of some online programs compared to classes taken at Vanderbilt, this unease may be mitigated by noting that credit for online classes would be strictly reviewed, as are the classes taken at other universities for transfer credit. Students would be required to submit a request for online course evaluation through Transfer Credit Application in YES, must provide a detailed syllabus for their online courses, must not take courses on a Pass/Fail basis, must meet the minimum grade requirements needed for transfer credit in their respective schools, and would only be allowed to take up to two online classes as transfer credit.

Even if the University decides to have stricter requirements for online class transfer credit, this would be enough for many students to gain immense flexibility in their summer schedules. This would lift a burden off of many students shoulders who may be struggling to balance finances, academics, and valued professional experiences while still maintaining the integrity of the University. Please strongly consider this proposition.

Thank you for your time.

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