Unity College prepares for launch of Hybrid Learning in fall of 2020

Published: May. 27, 2020 at 11:21 AM EDT
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The COVID-19 pandemic forced colleges across the country to adapt to new ways of learning.

Unity College is taking some of those changes and making them permanent features.

The college hopes students will use the new model to create their own experience best suited to their needs.

"What iTunes did for the music industry, before you could only buy the album, and now you can buy a song," explains Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. "Saying to a person, 'you can only get it one way' is unrealistic in today's day and age."

Unity College wants to remix the way higher education traditionally works. Launching in the fall of 2020, Hybrid Learning is a cross between Unity's Flagship Program and Distance Education models.

"Why do we tell students that this program has to be face to face, this program has to be online?" asks Dr. Khoury. "What if we created a curriculum where the students got to choose the modality with a level of flexibility that isn't, you're either an online student or you're a traditional residential student."

Students taking one, three-credit class per term are considered full-time and therefore eligible for financial aid. Another feature: eight-entry periods, letting students learn on their own schedule.

"There’s a lot of students who, life happens to them and if they have to withdraw they have to wait an entire semester to come back," says Dr. Khoury. "There are a number of students who have obligations with their families or their work, that having to take five courses at a time in a schedule that’s traditionally nine to five, it narrows down those who can go to college and enjoy it."

There are currently five different majors offered through Hybrid Learning, ranging from law enforcement to wildlife biology.

"It is important to me that every students gets an education. We’ve been working very hard over the last five years to figure out how to make our curriculum more accessible, more flexible, more affordable. This is another evolution in that," Dr. Khoury says.