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Rice Converts Summer School to All-Online Delivery

To take advantage of the momentum created by a quick switch from face-to-face courses to online version, one Texas university is ramping up plans for a major online summer session too. Rice University, which switched to distance learning in March in response to coronavirus, has decided to offer all of its summer courses online. Those will be made available with a "significant discount" for current students and the general public.

University administration has asked its schools and faculty to deliver many of the institution's "high-caliber courses," especially those that would be "strategic and in high demand."

The institution switched nearly 2,000 spring classes to online formats in 10 days. Now the goal, according to Caroline Levander, Rice's vice president for global and digital strategy, is to "build as balanced and compelling a catalog as possible." Levander said each course would go through "a careful process of design and development to ensure optimal learning outcomes for students." Classes are expected to be offered in business, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

There will be six summer sessions, delivered in six-, seven- and 10-week block formats, the dates of which overlap each other. The courses begin in early May.

People who aren't already students must be accepted into the university. (The application is online.)

Pricing has been considerably modified. Classes usually offered at $1,000 per credit hour will be $500 per credit hour for members of the general public admitted as "visiting" students. Most courses are three credit hours. Those who take more than six credit hours will receive an additional 50 percent discount for the third course.

Current Rice undergraduate students may take summer school classes for $250 per credit hour. Those receiving need-based aid can get an additional 50 percent discount for nine credit hours during summer school.

"We recognize that Rice students have experienced a lot of disruption and disappointment in their summer plans as well, so this is one way we can support them," noted Dean for Undergraduates Bridget Gorman, in a statement.

Summer session information is available on the Rice University website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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