In contrast to the bad news often inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, University of the Southwest has some things to celebrate.
First, the university has more students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs than ever before, according to Ryan Tipton, provost of the university.
“In this crisis, we’ve really battened down the hatches,” Tipton said. “We’ve been preparing for a greater on-line presence for years and because of that, our undergraduate enrollment is stable at a time many other colleges and universities are seeing declines. And our graduate enrollment in every department has increased.”
University of the Southwest offers Master’s degrees and Doctoral degrees in business and in education.
Second, the university has entered into an agreement with American University of Antigua Medical School that will guarantee any graduate of USW with at least a 3.0 grade point average in the school’s pre-medicine program a spot in the AUA medical school.
The memorandum of understanding between USW and AUA states, “the parties wish to establish a program under which students and graduates of USW are guaranteed admission into AUA’s MD educational program and scholarship opportunities.”
The memo goes on to say AUA will waive the application fee for USW applicants, will expedite the application review, interview and decision time, and waive the AUA pre-registration seat deposit. In addition, USW students at AUA will be eligible for a variety of financial grants and scholarships made available by AUA. Students are also eligible for direct financial aid from the United States government. Accrediting agencies in New York, Florida, California and India have approved the AUA medical school.
Third, USW was featured in a nationwide Webinar hosted by “Inside Higher Ed,” a magazine for officials and teachers at institutions of higher learning.
The Webinar, which was held on Sept. 22, had three panelists, one of whom was Tipton. The Webinar gave Tipton the opportunity to talk to a nationwide audience about the ways USW has learned to present online education at the university.
“At the present time, all graduate courses are taught online,” Tipton said. “But undergraduates have the opportunity to take all courses online, to meet some classes face-to-face, or to combine the two, so that one week a student might meet face-to-face and the next, to meet the class virtually by watching a recording of the class.”
Tipton, who in the past has referred to USW as the University of the Future, pointed out the flexibility offered undergraduates is an important facet of 21st century learning.
“People seem to think that instruction and learning has to be in one exclusive form or the other,” Tipton said in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. “That’s simply not true. Instruction and learning can occur in different settings that are convenient and important for both teachers and students.”
Tipton said developments at University of the Southwest have made the always exciting campus an even more exhilarating place to be.
“This is an exciting time for us,” Tipton said. “We look forward to whatever is coming in the future.”