A different world: Hampton’s adaptation to online learning

NOA CADET- STAFF WRITER

With midterm exams fully out of the way, we are rapidly approaching the final stretch of this crazy semester. 2020 has been full of new experiences for everyone and due to the threat of COVID-19, our lives as students have been altered dramatically with our shift from the in-person college experience to virtual platforms. However, Hampton University has made an ongoing effort to mimic the on-campus experience by taking several steps to ensure that Hampton students are still being supplied with the same quality of resources and support that we would get while at our Home by the Sea.

Under the watchful eye of the Student Support Services, Hampton has updated several resource platforms to assist students in being able to seize an opportunity as it comes. For academic assistance, Hampton has gone completely digital, allowing students to register for tutoring online through huachievement.org. On this website, students can register for tutoring help through an online application, in which they can scroll through a list of available tutors, complete with biographies depicting majors, academic accomplishments, available times, and the classes for which the tutors are suitable. This site allows for students in need of assistance to select the best tutors suited for their specific needs, separated by class. In addition to free online tutoring, the website offers faculty-published workshop guides designed to aid student readers. The selections available range from tips and guides to successfully complete the semester, to drafting resumes and cover letters, all meant to offer as much of a guiding hand as possible to the student body during this unprecedented time.

While extremely beneficial, free tutoring and short “how-to” guides aren’t the extent of Hampton’s mission to keep student life from being altered too drastically. With campus closed off to students, and activities such as in-person career fairs and company interest meetings postponed indefinitely, the prospect of securing internships, or even being aware of who is hiring, can seem daunting. To maintain a connection to students, Hampton University’s Career Center has resorted to email as the primary method of ensuring any internship opportunity that they become aware of is passed along to the rest of the Hampton student body. Representing a variety of companies, the Career Center ensures that their emails touch upon a wide array of majors, from theater to the sciences.

“It’s definitely benefited me in many ways,” said HU student Gabriel Lewis, a graduating senior and business management major from Mansfield, Texas. “In fact, for my senior year during this virtual fall semester, I am doing an internship with Mercy Corps, an internship non-profit, as a business development intern. This is all due to a blast from the HU Career Center letting me know they have an opportunity available to Hampton students.”

By redoubling efforts to make as much available to students as possible, Hampton University has made its best effort to recreate the campus experience to foster an environment of academic and professional excellence. Despite this effort, however, the transition to virtual learning has proven to be a tough roadblock to transcend. In a brief conversation, Daelin Brown, a third- year journalism major and writing tutor from Pennsylvania, shared her concerns regarding the effectiveness of online tutoring in comparison to in-person classes.

“I think with virtual tutoring, the sessions take much longer because trying to explain things through a screen is not easy,” said Brown. “Making comments on Google Docs is a nice element. However, so much more explaining comes with not being able to see the student and the document at the same time.”

Brown is most certainly not alone in her concerns. The struggle to achieve the same kind of efficiency and thoroughness through an online interface is felt by all. While Hampton University has done plenty to lessen the burden of trying to make up for the consequences that come with maintaining a safe environment in regards to COVID-19, there is undoubtedly longing for the day in which we return to campus. However, until that day comes, use the resources available and try to finish this school year out strong.

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