By Seán McGlone & Lindsay Tavarozzi – News Editor & 1851 Staff
Rising sophomores will have the opportunity to participate in a new and unique online education program this fall. The Sophomore Alternative Semester program (SAS) will offer students the chance to earn credits while living off-campus.
Participating students will be en- rolled full-time earning 12 to 15 credits and working a required 16 to 20 hours each week. Tuition will be $4,800 for 12 credits and $6,000 for 15.
“For a number of years now, many of us at the college have been very commit- ted to finding ways of reducing the cost of a Laselleducation,” said Steven Bloom, Dean of Undergraduate Education and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Bloom is a member of the Low Cost Alternative Study Group, a committee of faculty and administrators from various departments brought together by President Alexander to find ways that make a Lasell education more affordable. According to Bloom, students have already started to show interest in the program.
The students will take up to five classes, including BUSS 224, MATH 208, SCI 107, and MDSC 203. These courses were selected because they will satisfy several requirements for classes sophomores have to take, including a multi-disciplinary and knowledge perspective.
“The assumption is that they’ll come back for spring semester, and we want them to be able to hit the ground running and stay on track so that they’re completing their degree in the time frame that they intended,” said program director Gillian Stanley.
Students will also be required to participate in a professional development course where they will receive credit for their part-time work. This course will give students professional experience and emphasize the importance of professionalism.
Program limited to 22 students
Students in the program will take all classes online together. The program is limited to 22 students, however with more interest students will join a waiting list or a second section will open. The maximum amount will be 44.
Bloom is hopeful that having students take these classes together will create a sense of unity among them.
“A lot of students take many classes in their major with the same group of students. This is really four or five courses with all of the same students. Think about that, I mean there’s a great potential there [to form] strong bonds with each other,” said Bloom.
Because this is the first time the program will run, administrators expect kinks. “We’re building this as we go, so we’re trying to forecast as much as we can and be prepared for as many scenarios,” said Stanley.
Students will not be able to receive any scholarships from Lasell during this semester, however they are still eligible to apply for other financial aid.
Students in the athletic training, exercise science, or education department may have a harder time joining the program, with more requirements and less electives in their academic plan, but these students should speak with their advisor before ruling it out.
Those enrolled and within driving distance will continue to have access to clubs, organizations, and athletics on campus, as well as services like the Academic Achievement Center and Information Technology.
Applicants must have at least 2.0 GPA
An application will be made available to current freshmen in the coming weeks. Interested candidates must have a minimum 2.0 GPA, and at least 24 credits by the end of their freshman year. Students will know if they have been accepted prior to spring registration.
Bloom is excited about the experience the students will have. “These students, whether it’s 15 of them or 44 of them, they’re going to have this unique experience together, so it’ll be really interesting to see what it’s like for them to return to campus having had that,” said Bloom.