East Carolina University’s Office of the Registrar showed a small decrease in registration numbers for both summer sessions in comparison to 2019 and the Pirate Academic Success Center (PASC) will continue to offer online resources to summer students.
University Registrar Angela Anderson said in an emailed statement enrollment had a slight decrease in both summer sessions. The first summer session had 9728 students enrolled, 261 students less than 2019. The second summer session has 44 less enrolled students than 2019 with 5836.
PASC Director Elizabeth Coghill said the tutoring center has put its focus on providing virtual services during the COVID-19 pandemic for students to utilize. She said Microsoft Teams allows students and tutors to share whiteboards, schedule appointments and chat throughout the day.
“We are providing one-on-one appointments plus study groups. Study groups were pretty popular in summer session one so we’re basically providing for our stem courses. We’ve got biology, chemistry and physics that we are focusing our efforts on,” Coghill said.
Current hours for the tutoring center are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to Coghill. She said the PASC will reopen its doors virtually three days after the start of ECU’s fall semester on Aug. 10.
The center has a plethora of tutors available for other courses which can be scheduled through the tutor matching service, according to Coghill. She said tutors have proper equipment to be able to use Teams virtually to ensure the best success between tutor and student.
Coghill said the transition of virtual summer courses can have a negative effect on students beginning to feel disconnected from the learning environment. She said there is an importance to build a relationship with faculty during a course and work on a study strategy tailored toward that specific course.
The PASC focuses on empowerment of a student, according to Coghill. She said she has found Teams is an effective application to get that point across.
“I don’t want a student to feel like all these changes will inhibit their ability to learn or lessen an experience for them. We need one-on-one exchanges that make something more personable. Students need the encouragement to make connections with faculty members,” Coghill said.
Students can initially feel uncomfortable with virtual instruction, Coghill said, but tutors have helped promote a positive learning environment. She said tutors have shared with her they are able to still have meaningful conversations and get information across as they would if they were in person at the center.
Coghill said the center has struggled with getting the word out about virtual tutoring services to incoming freshmen as they had a large presence at in person orientation. She said the center hopes it can increase outreach through social media use and email newsletters.
Senior applied economics major Tyrell Killingsworth said he has taken summer courses every year with the exception of his freshman year. He said he has never used the tutoring services offered by the PASC.
“Depending on the topic of summer courses I don’t mind them. It is pretty fast paced but I like getting them out of the way. I am better at teaching myself,” Killingsworth said.
There are a limited number of courses offered for summer session two, according to Killingsworth. He said he’s had a hard time finding courses to suit the credits he needed in the past.