As the beginning of summer sessions approach in a virtual format, online resources and support services will be offered through East Carolina University’s Pirate Academic Success Center (PASC) as well as other campus departments.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy said although summer sessions will be conducted entirely through an online format, returning students may experience a more smooth adaptation due to the spring’s unprecedented circumstances.
“Our faculty are ready, for the most part, for our summer classes, so I think it will be much easier and for our students to do that transitioning,” Hardy said.
Following the spring transition to virtual services, most of the same services will be available throughout the summer sessions, according to Hardy.
Hardy said some summer services may include virtual counseling, virtual student health visits and disability support services.
“So we’re still trying to keep some of that going, those types of resources available, and so we’ll continue to expand that as we need to,” Hardy said.
Hardy said ECU works to help students the best way possible. She said if a department on campus is not available for virtual servicing, students should contact the Dean of Students office because they will do what they can to help find the resources students may need.
Senior communication major Brooke Edes said she usually takes summer classes online. Taking online classes over the summer creates a more flexible schedule for travel, work and other activities, according to Edes.
“It’s a great time to knock out electives. Most of all my electives I took online are super easy and a good way to get your credits faster or if you’re behind,” Edes said.
Though Edes said she’s unable to speak for the classes that are usually supposed to be taught on campus, she recommends students work ahead and check assignments daily.
PASC Director Elizabeth Coghill said unlimited face-to-face tutoring is usually offered to students after class in person, but services for this summer will be completely virtual. She said tutors will be delivering services through Microsoft Teams, a video based communication software.
“The reason why we picked Teams was that it’s an easy connection for the student and the tutor. Teams has both a whiteboard that can be shared, which is important, and it also has a what’s called OneNote,” Coghill said.
OneNote is important because it allows the tutor to take notes during the session and then send it to the student at the end, according to Coghill. She said the services through Teams will be available starting the first week of classes, May 18, and will be free to all ECU students.
Coghill said all classes are important and services are offered to many, but PASC has targeted specific science related classes such as biology, physics and chemistry. A list of these courses and service schedules can also be found on the PASC website.
“We’ll be sending emails right to the students that are enrolled in classes, in those particular classes,” Coghill said. “And we selected the highest demand STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses because they’re the ones that we’ve seen every summer cause the most difficulty.”
Coghill said there will also be professional staff and resources available to students enrolled in other classes as well. She said the staff will assist students in time management, study skills and project creations.
There will be a tutor matching service which will allow ECU students to receive $200 of free tutoring from the tutors who weren’t hired this summer due to funding, according to Coghill. She said in order to use this free service, students must use their ECU credentials and look for the tutors marked with a PASC badge.
Coghill said if students have trouble or need help finding specific tutors through the matching service, they can call the PASC for assistance.
“We’re maintaining a preferred list for students so they can always call us and ask us for specific names to look for on tutor matching service,” Coghill said.
PASC has also created a video with more information and instruction on specific Microsoft Teams services, which can be found on the website.