Assistant News Editor
Murray State’s inaugural Winter Term included 24 courses and 161 students.
Jay Morgan, associate provost, said he believed the pilot Winter Term to be a success.
“I was very pleased,” Morgan said. “We had 161 students register and complete the term, which I was anticipating 100 being a success, so 161 was great.”
Among the students who registered last November, seven did not complete the courses in which they were enrolled.
Twelve students withdrew before the term began, Morgan said.
He said though this was the first time the University has offered courses over the Winter Term, the faculty were able to experiment with ways to conduct their courses and he plans to see the Winter Term continue and grow with more courses offered in the coming years.
For next year’s term, Morgan plans to widen the window in which students are required to both enroll in a course and provide payment.
“Our registration process went well, all of our systems went well, but we’re going to have to open up the window for registration for both times that a student has to register as well as the time that they have to pay for the course,” he said. “That was the one item that we found.”
Morgan said next year’s Winter Term, the registration and payment periods will open to a two week time frame for more convenience for students.
“That was our largest, and really single complaint; there were no other complaints that I heard,” he said.
Ronald Hopper, professor of humanities and fine arts, taught reading, writing and inquiry, a requirement for all students on campus.
Hopper said all 10 of his students both completed and passed the course. Two of his students were international students and participated in the course while in China and Saudi Arabia.
“It worked well,” he said. “I was concerned because of the time difference, but they were able to stay with the work.”
Though the course is rigorous in nature, Hopper said students performed exceptionally.
“The Winter Term class being a four hour course is very intense because it’s creative reading and creative writing and inquiry and you try to cram 16 weeks in three weeks,” he said.
Hannah Wynstra, junior from Mayfield, Ky., was enrolled in The Theatrical Experience with nine other students.
Wynstra said she took a Winter Term course because she wanted to focus more on courses that she said require more work.
“I just didn’t want to have to work on so much this semester and make time to devote to my major classes,” she said.
Wynstra, a nursing major, said the University’s Winter Term helps students who would like to get University Studies out of the way and focus solely on their major classes that tend to be more difficult.
“This was a way for me to do my best in all of my classes,” she said.
Though the term is during Winter Break, Wynstra said she never felt as if she were robbed of either family or relaxation time.
“It doesn’t really take that much time,” Wynstra said. “It kept me on a schedule and I really enjoyed it.”