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Graduate Business Programs at York College of Pennsylvania Offer Ability to Switch Between In-Person and Remote Attendance

A student gives a presentation in front of her MBA classroom, using a large screen and PowerPoint slides

Graduate school is a rigorous, challenging experience in the best of times. In the midst of a global pandemic, those challenges multiply. Social distancing requirements, family commitments, and other demands on students’ time and resources have forced conversations around flexibility in graduate education. 

At York College of Pennsylvania’s Graham School of Business, those conversations started a few years ago — and today, they’re more relevant than ever.

All graduate classes in the Graham School of Business take a “hyperflex” approach to course delivery. “Students can choose to attend weekly class meetings on campus or remotely,” states Nicole Cornell Sadowski, PhD, Director of Graduate Programs at York College of Pennsylvania. “Nearly all of our graduate students work full-time and are part-time students. Many have small children or care for other family members. They have many constraints on their time, so we wanted to add more flexibility to our programs.”

As part of the hyperflex model, faculty teach graduate courses using Zoom video conferencing and webcam technology. “Audio/visual equipment enables two-way communication between the classroom on campus and remote students,” says Dr. Cornell Sadowski. “Everyone can see and hear each other...Many courses in our graduate programs rely heavily on discussion and presentation, and the Zoom rooms enable that interaction, whether students are on campus or remote.” 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in spring 2020, these updates placed the Graham School of Business in a better position than most as courses pivoted to remote education nationwide. Now, as we move forward with a “new normal” in fall 2020, hyperflex classes play an important role in safely educating students, while maintaining a high quality of instruction. 

“If a student is having medical concerns, they can attend class from home,” says Dr. Cornell Sadowski. If they have to care for a sick family member, or need to self-quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus, if they are immunocompromised or simply uncomfortable attending an on-campus class in the current environment — students have the option to attend class remotely, as they see fit. Conversely, students who prefer face-to-face instruction will also have that option, with proper precautions in place. And thanks to the two-way technology, classmates and faculty will be able to interact with one another in real time, from anywhere with an internet connection. 

Circumstances and student needs can shift quickly. At York College of Pennsylvania’s Graham School of Business, technological and instructional updates are ensuring that a disruption or transition in a student’s life doesn’t mean derailing their educational plans.  

“They can still complete their degree with their peers and in their chosen program,” adds Dr. Cornell Sadowski. “The changes have been tremendously positive.”

Learn More about Graduate Business Programs at York College of Pennsylvania.
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