U of L sees a fall in undergraduate enrollment, but a rise in graduate enrollement Tuesday, Sep 28 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

The number of first-time undergraduate students enrolling at U of L fell 6 percent this semester compared to last year. However, graduate student enrollment rose by 2 percent up to about 6,450.

Jim Begany, U of L Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success suggests that these differences are likely due to recent development in graduate business and education programs.

“The College of Business started an online MBA program and an on-campus master’s in business analytics. Undergraduate enrollment is slightly down to fairly flat as we see impacts from COVID-19 and shifts in demographics,” Begany said. “We have done better than most but certainly are impacted by the current environment when recruiting and retaining students.”

Despite declining enrollment, the U of L undergraduate class of 2025 is still diverse according to the enrollment report. 20.24 percent identify as African American or multiracial and 7.06 percent are Hispanic/Latino.

The students also come from all over the country as 23.72 percent are from states other than Kentucky. 38 states are represented across the freshman class.

The class of 2025 has an average ACT score of 25.64 and an average high school GPA of 3.63. Many students decided to prepare for college by taking some classes before their freshman year, so 47.6 percent have some college credit entering U of L.

33.05 percent of this freshman class are first-generation college students. 64.05 percent live on campus and 246 freshmen are part-time students.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal

 

 

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U of L attempting a semblance of normalcy for fall 2021 semester Wednesday, Sep 1 2021 

By Grace Welsh —

For University of Louisville students and staff alike, this fall semester may give some a little deja vu.

With COVID-19 cases steadily climbing to the level they were during the winter of 2020, U of L has reinstated a mask mandate for all students and staff in indoor settings. Jefferson County has seen over 3,000 new cases during the week of August 22 alone, and the number continues to grow due to the high transmissibility of the Delta variant.

Louisville students have wondered what this means for their upcoming semester, especially now that most classes, clubs, and events are meeting in person for the first time since spring of 2020. John Karman, U of L’s Executive Director of Communications at the Office of Communications and Marketing said, “We’ve welcomed our students back to campus, and clubs and events have returned with them.”

“Our intention is a full, on-campus semester, but we will continue to follow CDC and state health department guidelines. We have proven that we can pivot to other means of instruction if necessary,” he said, in reference to both virtual and distance education. In May, Vince Tyra, Vice President/Director for Intercollegiate Athletics, announced that Cardinal Stadium will be at full capacity for the 2021 football season. In addition, the university revealed in June that all home games for the men’s and women’s basketball team will also be at 100% capacity.

There is currently no mandate for students and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19, however the university has been urging its members to do so. “U of L students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to get [it]. It is safe and effective and our best defense against the pandemic,” Karman said. As of August 30th, 66.2% of students and 70% of staff are vaccinated; if both populations can reach 80% vaccinated, the campus-wide mask mandate will be lifted.

Louisville’s starting Quarterback Malik Cunningham.

In an effort to encourage individuals to get the vaccine, U of L has begun a social media campaign featuring prominent student-athletes and the slogan “I Got the Shot. Join the Team.

Professors have also included vaccine and mask information on their syllabi, and U of L’s official website highlights their coronavirus protocol page that features information on vaccines, testing, travel guidelines, statistical data and FAQs.

For more information on UofL’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit: https://louisville.edu/coronavirus/health-protocols

Graphics // U of L FSL Twitter //

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Incoming freshmen: Here’s how to prep for you first college semester Wednesday, Mar 31 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

Many prospective students will be receiving their acceptance letter from the University of Louisville soon. And while the college experience during the COVID-19 pandemic might look slightly different than your high school experience. Here are a few tips and tricks to make the best out of your college experience.

 

Come prepared.

Read the syllabus before the beginning of the semester to know what your professor expects from you.

In fall 2021, U of L will offer face-to-face and 100% distance education class options. Although classes will be marked as either 100% digital or face-to-face, professors can incorporate hybrid elements to their class. Ensure that the class meets in a way that you feel comfortable.

If you plan to live on-campus, make sure your housing situation allows you to be as safe as possible while being considerate of others. Bring plenty of masks with you and sanitize surfaces in your room often. If you live with a roommate, give them plenty of space within the room. If this makes you uncomfortable, consider living at home for at least one semester.

Have a contingency plan just in case you or someone you came into contact with catches the virus. Meet with other students in your classes virtually who can help you make up assignments or give you class notes.

 

Budget your money well.

As a college student, you’re going to be faced with several choices throughout your college career. For some of us, budgeting is a bigger issue during the pandemic. 

Don’t just buy all of your textbooks before the school year starts. The best tip to avoid breaking the bank is to wait until you get through your first week of classes to start purchasing textbooks. Give yourself time so that you can determine how serious the professor is about using the assigned reading.

Along the same vein–don’t purchase your textbooks from the bookstore unless you can’t find cheaper alternatives. Take time to shop around for an online version or rental copy of your textbook. Use the book’s ISBN to search on Amazon and Chegg for cheaper versions. The ISBN is located on the back near the barcode or within the first few pages of the book, it should start with the numbers 978 and be 13 digits long.

Take advantage of student discounts. Once you have access to your U of L email account, you have access to student discounts on many platforms including Amazon Prime, Spotify and Apple Music to name just a few.

Students also get all of Adobe’s Creative Cloud products for free, as well as, free visits to the Speed Art Museum (located on campus), and free TARC fare. The TARC, or the Transit Authority of the River City, is Louisville’s public bus transport system and can get you anywhere in the city.

These discounts could end up being life savers when you need textbooks shipped or don’t feel comfortable shopping in-person. Student’s Cardinal Card and email address offer great opportunities for students to cope with stress and take their mind off of things at any point during the semester.

 

Give yourself time to breathe.

Don’t schedule classes so close together. Give yourself time to travel between classes. If your class schedule requires you to travel to the other side of campus in just 10 minutes, you might be scheduling your classes incorrectly. Keep travel time in mind and make sure you have at least 15 minutes between the end of one class to the start of another. You never know when a professor might hold you later than expected.

If you attend all of your classes online, you might want to avoid scheduling classes so close together, too. With classes so close together, you could end up with burnout from Zoom fatigue and become overwhelmed from the constant meetings. Take at least 15 minutes to yourself between online classes at minimum.

The past three semesters have been unconventional. You probably didn’t expect your college experience to be so abnormal.

The college experience is supposed to include in-person classes and learning with their fellow peers about topics that they want to potentially dedicate their lives to,” said Abby Huether, a writer for Colorado State University’s features magazine College Avenue.

“But due to COVID-19, college students this semester were forced to make a choice between either continuing their education, which might mean potentially lower-value classes, all while paying the same tuition, or taking a semester off, leaving many students floundering with no idea of what to do with their life,” Huether said.

We all need to take a breather once in a while.

 

Most important of all–keep yourself healthy.

If you plan to take face-to-face classes, remember to keep your mask over your mouth and nose at all times and stay socially distanced from others.

Destiny Smith, a sophomore nursing major, recommends that all students wear a mask, wipe down surfaces that they touch, and wash their hands after leaving every class.

Be in tune with your mental wellbeing, as well. When you start to feel overwhelmed, look for ways to cope with this stress. The university’s Counseling Center offers a helpful toolkit for students to follow with tips and resources.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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While we may never “return to normal,” we can take the first steps Wednesday, Mar 24 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

After two semesters of hybrid and remote classes, U of L is finally offering face-to-face classes and 100% virtual classes in fall 2021. This can finally be the return to normal that many students have been anticipating.

U of L announced the transition in an email sent out earlier this month on March 12 via the U of L Update service account. 

In the email, Executive Vice President and University Provost Beth Boehm said that as vaccines are coming out, the university will be able to transition most classes from virtual to face-to-face in the fall.

This is the kind of news that many students and faculty have been looking forward to since last spring.

“I was very excited to see that we’d be going back to face-to-face,” Trevin Brent, a junior SPAD major, said. “As long as it is proven to be safe I couldn’t be happier about it!”

Brent added that he plans to schedule all in-person classes for the fall semester.

Meanwhile, Livi Westbay, a junior communication major, hopes that U of L keeps hybrid classes as an option for students to choose when registering for classes.

“I’m glad classes are going back to normal but I think U of L should keep hybrid courses an option,” Westbay said.

Accordingly, she plans to enroll in only online classes for the fall semester.

For faculty and staff, these changes mean planning out another semester of classes while also needing a contingency plan in case the pandemic rolls over into the fall.

Megan Poole, assistant professor of English at U of L, aims to make decisions for the class based on what her students are most comfortable with.

“The main practice I began during pandemic teaching that I will continue into future semesters is sending out a pre-course survey to ask what students expect to get from the course, how they plan to participate, and why they have enrolled,” she said. “This feedback allows me to tweak instruction plans to best fit student needs and interests, but it also gives students a stake in how the course unfolds.”

Poole said that she hopes other professors will be mindful of the physical and mental wellbeing of students as they plan for the future.

“More fundamental than whether I agree or not with the change to F2F or 100% DE is my belief that no matter what format our classes operate under next semester, professors should enter the classroom knowing that students might struggle with yet another transition in their learning environment.” 

Traditional freshmen in the 2020-21 school year might not have gotten the “college experience” that many upperclassmen got to enjoy in the 2019-2020 academic year, including in-person RSO meetings, school sporting events, and getting to meet classmates and professors in the classroom.

In fall 2021, incoming freshmen will get the chance to experience college life a little bit closer to the way it was before.

As more individuals across campus get the vaccine, we can anticipate a steady decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases.

We know that the virus will not be gone by the fall semester.

But we can still plan to return to a fraction of the way we once were.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L prepares transition for in-person fall semester Monday, Mar 15 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The university announced on March 13 that it plans to make a “return to normal” for fall 2021 by having more in-person courses. The decision comes after six months of planning from the Academic Scenario Planning Committee and the Coordinating Committee.

“In our case, a return to normal means we expect to offer students a robust residential experience with in-person classes and fully staffed student services again,” Executive Vice President and University Provost Beth Boehm said.

Elements of this plan include a fall 2021 schedule with face-to-face and 100% digital course designations and incorporating some online expectation into in-person courses. Most courses will be in person, but some online courses will be available for students that accommodate their learning styles and schedules.

In addition, any combination of in-person and online courses may be taken for the same resident or nonresident full-time rate.

Boehm said in the email that the university will still be prepared to flip some in-person courses to online or hybrid if the pandemic continues into the fall.

However, hybrid courses will not be continuing into the fall. “Because many students and faculty find the hybrid designation confusing, and because we do not expect to be required to physically distance to the same extent as this year, all courses will be marked as either face-to-face or 100% digital,” Boehm said.

“As always, our priority this fall will be to keep faculty, staff and students safe on campus while providing a first-class, in-person education for students,” Boehm said.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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