Mayterm moves to online platform

Mayterm, John Brown University’s four-week express classes offered at the end of the spring semester, will now be moving to an online format.

From May to July 1, the May term classes will be offered as eight week online courses for $390 a credit hour.

This development is especially helpful for Walton scholar students, who go back home to Central America and Mexico during the summers. Walton scholar students are required to enroll in two Mayterms during their time at the University.

Ron Johnson, director of the Walton International Scholarship Program, said, “It’s a great thing to allow them more time in their home countries and more opportunity for employment.”

Johnson said this change has been under consideration for the past two years. In addition to benefitting students’ schedules, this change will help to cut costs for the University.

“We brought the decision before our Walton students and received their input, so it was a well thought-out decision,” Johnson said.

Robert Norwood, dean of undergraduate studies, said that classes could potentially be offered on campus again in the future.

“At the moment the option to offer courses on campus is possible, but no faculty members  have indicated interest in that.”

Norwood said the main motivation for the change is for the benefit of the Walton program and to meet students’ needs.

“It will be a benefit to everybody,” Norwood said. The online format will help students with summer internship opportunities, allowing them to go home at the end of the spring semester rather than several weeks later.

Due to the classes being moved online and absence of most of the Walton scholars on campus, the University will not provide on-campus housing for Mayterm.

“In a sense it will be cheaper with no on-campus charge, and it will give faculty the opportunity to teach wherever they want,” Norwood added.

Miguel Miranda Rivera, freshman Walton student from El Salvador, plans on taking a few courses through the online Mayterm.

“Mayterm is a great opportunity for us to take courses we might consider would need more time and dedication,” Rivera said.

Rivera said he is excited to return earlier to his home country. “It will be awesome to have some more time with my family and friends back home.”

But with no face-to-face interaction, Rivera said he could see a potential problem with the courses being fully online.

“I probably will miss the interaction, because having in-person interaction helps us clarify those doubts and questions that most of the time arise only throughout the class,” Rivera said.