By Kevin Galligan
“An online class gives me more flexibility in my schedule, it seems like no matter what my job is I always end up working a 40 hour work week and trying to balance that with school is a killer task” said Suffolk Community College student Connor Thumser.
Connor Thumser and a fellow student with him, Taylor Geismar, share similar feelings about the online services provided by the college. “My first two semesters enrolled here I didn’t even think to take online classes” said Taylor. The college does not hide the fact that they offer online classes but both Connor and Taylor didn’t know it was an option when they enrolled for the first semesters at the school in the fall of 2011. The online classes are essentially the same as a class at the school.
The College offers online classes in math, history, philosophy, and English. There is also no price difference for online classes compared to on campus classes. The school even offers online classes
“After I took a few online classes my schedule became a lot more free, I didn’t have to be on campus for hours on end, spending my whole day at Suffolk (Community College). I’m currently taking three online classes, two business classes and a comp sci. (computer science) class. The only time I am on campus is for my gym classes” said Taylor. Taylor’s gym classes run twice a week and last a total of an hour and forty minutes. Taylor’s on campus school time has been significantly reduced by her addition of online classes to her schedule
Connor Thumser is also an athlete for the College as a member of the men’s golf team, “The online classes are great for me as a member on the golf team. The team travels to tournaments at various golf courses in New York state and I miss a couple days because of that. When I miss class I always miss out on whatever the teacher talked about, with the online classes that is not a problem. I go over the materials and do my work around my golf and work schedule” said Connor. Online classes are versatile and flexible for students in a range of situations.
A former Suffolk Community College student and current student at the New York State University at Cortland Mike Henriques took online summer course at Suffolk Community. “The summer before I went to Cortland I took a few online classes at Suffolk so when I went to Cortland my first semester work load was easier, and it worked” said Mike.
Not everything these students had to say about the use of online classes was positive. “The biggest drawback with online classes has got to be the lack of face time with teachers. I took an online math class and math is not my strong suit. Sure you’re able to email the teacher but it is just not as effective. The lack of a classroom environment definitely effected my grade in a negative way” said Mike. The students collectively have voiced the same issues with online classes, the lack of face time with teachers and an inability to solve something a student might not be able to understand on their own.
The online classes system at Suffolk has offered good education to these current and former students. The online classes are available for all Suffolk Community College student to take at their advantage. Yes, there are some drawbacks to taking an online class compared to a regular class but weighting the pros and cons between the two types of classes these students prefer the online classes.