On this week’s episode of ORM, Dana Voelker will explore CPASS courses offered during our Maymester and summer terms. She’ll also share some great travel advice about climbing the Alps in Switzerland, and how taking a summer or Maymester course online can pique your travel interests.

Transcript

Hi everyone. And welcome to this week's episode of the Online Road Map podcast. And this week I'd like to walk on Dana Voelker, the director of Undergraduate Online Education for the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences. So welcome Dana. Thank you for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about our online programs.

Yeah, we're very excited. Are you really appreciate you joining us today? So if you could, if you could give us a little bit about who you are and your affiliation with the college and with the university, that would be great. Sure. Yeah. So as you mentioned, I'm the director of Undergraduate Online Education in CPASS.

And so really a predominant role is to produce quality online experiences for our undergraduates. The students and, you know, retain them and recruit them into our programs and ensure that they have a quality education through it. I'm also an associate professor of sport exercise and performance psychology.

So I'm also in the classroom online or in-person with shapes a lot of what I do. That's awesome. Thank you so much. So if you could, I know you work in C pass and a lot, a lot of different areas. Can you give us a little bit of background about the college and, and really what CPASS college with physical activity and sport sciences specializes in and what degrees you guys?

Sure. So we specialize in sports sciences as well as many physical activity and health professions. So we offer bachelor's degrees in sport exercise and performance psychology, which is my home discipline coaching and performance science, sport management physical education and kinesiology, and a new major, which is health and wellbeing.

And also a multidisciplinary studies degree where students can really chart their own path by choosing from our minors in both sport and health. Very cool. Yeah, I know it. We're excited about the new degree as well, so that's going to be very exciting. So I know we're all excited about Macmaster. It was supposed to happen last year, but of course, because of the pandemic we did have to hold off until this year, so we're excited to get that off of the ground this year.

And you guys have been so great with our special sessions offering courses. You know, in winter intercession as well as may master. So if you could, if you could give us a little bit of information about the courses that you guys are planning to offer what those courses are like, are they online?

What's the modality. And just a little bit about how the courses will be set up for our students during Maymester. Yeah. Perfect. So this year for Maymester we've got fitness walking, so that's PE one 24 aerobics, P E one 25, a yoga for fitness PE one 53 and then fitness and wellness PE two 29.

And so these courses. Are all offered completely online and asynchronously, meaning that students really don't have to meet at a set time each week. They have maximum flexibility to build their own schedule. So unique to our courses, students work toward their physical activity goals, using fitness tracker technology.

So students can decide when physical activity and the week's course activities will work best for them, which I think is a really nice. Highlight. And then, you know, in addition to the main master, these physical activity courses are also online during the regular summer session, they're just six weeks versus three.

So there's lots of options. Thanks, Dana. So I wanted to mention a little bit about the move bands. So our students do require are required to get a move band tracker and those trackers are available to purchase on the C pass website. And there are $50 and then the software package with those are $18 as well.

So that's a neat little component of those online classes too, is that they can actually track their physical activity. And then it kind of goes into the software and then the instructor is able to, to get that information through the classroom and through the tracker as well. So that's pretty cool.

And you said those are also available in the summer, correct. So same, same set up for those classes, right? Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. That's really cool. So I'm talking about benefits a little bit of Maymester what do you think would be like a benefit of a student taking a CPASS course during the Maymester term?

Well, you know, looking back at my own undergraduate career, I wish I had an opportunity to take up to five credits in three weeks, you know, because it just affords students the opportunity to play catch up that they need to earn their degrees quickly. It, it frees up time during the traditional falls.

Spring and summer semesters, if they want to seize other opportunities, like other courses of interest, internships, student organizations, travel campus life you know, and these are really great courses for students looking to bolster their own fitness and wellness you know, learn how to engage with others in those activities and just have some fun which, you know, we can be honest here.

I mean, everyone deserves some time to get moving, relieves stress and focus on their wellness. You know, especially given the last year that we've had. And so now students can earn undergraduate credit while they do that. And so I think that's a, it's a, it's a win-win win. Right. It's really cool opportunity for students to be able to take these online.

I was talking to the instructor for one of the courses and I was like, man, I kind of want to take the yoga class or like a WebEx, like I'm down for the aerobics. So I think it's a, it's a definitely a really neat opportunity that we were able to, to offer these online and that WVU is, is willing to offer these types of classes online.

I think that's awesome. So I know you mentioned one big thing was travel. And so this is just a little, like information about you. Where do you like to travel? You like to go anywhere on vacation in the summer, or what's your like travel destination location. You know, if I could go anywhere, I I'd go back to Switzerland.

I know it know it's a, it's a pretty far trip, but it was one of my most memorable experiences. So actually as an undergraduate, I traveled abroad to hiking the Alps in the summer there. And I've been back since, because it's just one of my favorite places to go. So just kind of, you know, looking back on my own experiences, if free, freeing up summers for excursions and adventure near and far they're important educational experiences too.

And. It's kind of just another benefit of taking courses in the Maymester. When you have the opportunity to get those out of the way and do something you've always enjoyed. Yeah, hiking in the Alps. That's awesome. So it was I'm intrigued. Tell me, tell me a little bit about that. Does that like require training?

Cause I know the Altitude's right or just kind of crazy. It was different. And you know, I, they required me to buy new hiking boots, but the thing about hiking boots is you can't just go in them and start walking. You really have to train in them and break them in. Cause blisters are a huge issue, especially when you're just walking all day.

You know, up mountains. And so I just remember like walking around in my neighborhood with a huge backpack, everything you own you know, on, on your back you know, training for that trip. So it wasn't like extremely rigorous, but certainly it was it, it was different. It was a bit of a change of pace.

And so, yeah, we prepared, we learned about Switzerland, we learned about the apps, what we would expect to see and sort of a classroom setting. And then we actually went over there and, you know, we hiked for. You know, at least a week. But it's amazing how even just that one week or 10 days, like, I can't remember exactly, you know, that short period of time, it just makes such a, an impact on you for the, for your whole life.

So I think that's, you know, pretty cool. Yeah. That's pretty awesome. I might have to add that to my bucket list. Beautiful place, beautiful place. Yeah, that's cool. That's cool. I don't have any cool destinations like that, but that's definitely a neat one. So what types of students would you recommend for the PE courses?

I know these are more intro courses, correct. So is there any skill level required or what type of student would be ideal for these, these PE courses? During my master? Honestly, the online activity. Forces they're designed to meet the academic and health-related needs of anybody. You know, of course we have some folks who are even athletes on campus and off to take our physical activity classes.

And we have other folks who you know, are sort of newer to fitness and exercise, or maybe they did a little in high school and they want us. Start up again. So really it's designed for anybody and, and the people who teach these are sort of designed, or they're trained to, to meet students where they are relative to their expertise.

So our offerings include one credit and two credit options which also gives students quite a bit of flexibility for taking them in combination with other courses, which I think is also really nice. That's good to know. So in summer, I know you mentioned that you guys are also offering these courses.

Are there any other higher level courses or what does the summer course load look like? So we have a really, really robust summer course schedule. So there are a wide array, of course, many of which are offered online across all of our disciplines. So students have a really nice opportunity to catch up or, you know, take courses of interest.

It sort of suit whatever their needs are. As most of our courses are offered on online in the summer. Good to know. I like to end the show is kind of just like one piece of advice that you would like to offer students. And this could be about Maymester or summer or both. So what's one piece of advice that you would offer to students about the summer Maymester terms?

Yeah, I think just, you know, try to have fun. Summers are meant for fun and you have to. Enjoy what you're doing, they keep doing it. So, you know, I think sometimes, and even, you know, I've, I've sort of done this as well as training courses as a means to an end and you know, just getting through it. And so instead, I think just changing your mindset to treat them as an opportunity to discover things that you really love and that you're really passionate about really helps you to find joy in that journey.

So I think sometimes people associate taking classes in the summer. It's like, Oh, it's summer school. But you know, at a college level that could really sort of be an opportunity to explore what your passions are and that can be fun. So it's, it's, it's a part of the journey and it's not, not all is lost by taking classes in the summer.

I think it's actually a pretty awesome opportunity. Yeah. And I think taking the opportunity online, like you said, gives the ability for students to still kind of get out there and. Do some traveling or do whatever I do, whatever they really want to in the summer. Right. And still have that option to complete some credits and get ahead or catch up or whatever they need to do.

So that is awesome advice. Well, thank you so much for taking a few minutes to talk with us today and talk to the students about, you know, you guys as courses and what you're offering for both Maymester and summer term, and just giving us some advice. Absolutely. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share some information.

Oh, welcome. And we look forward to talking with the guys next week on the Online Road Map podcast. And Dana, thank you again. And I will see you guys next week.