How the University of Miami's Online Students Connect with Faculty
Online students are not off the radar at UM. The same top-notch faculty who teach on campus teach the online degree programs to students all over the world. Even though UOnline professors aren’t meeting their students face-to-face each week, students have numerous opportunities to connect with faculty, both online and in person.
UOnline’s virtual platform allows students to access course materials anytime, anywhere, 100% online. There are no scheduled or live classes. However, students are given numerous ways to stay connected and on track. Faculty members offer synchronous weekly office hours to provide students with support in regards to course content and materials. Professors are often available by email or phone call to help students with questions and actively participate in discussion posts to ensure students are on the right track.
UOnline students confirm that the faculty is just as accessible to them as to their on-campus counterparts. “My professors are great and easy to get a hold of. They make sure if we have questions they are responsive right away,” says Captain John with the Naples Police Department and student in the Masters in Public Administration program.
Seth Levine, CPA, a professor in the Master in Professional Accounting program, makes a point to connect with all his online students even if they don’t seek him out during office hours. “I typically speak to our students one-on-one several times over the semester. I want to make sure they are really understanding the materials.”
The UOnline faculty goes beyond the classroom to offer students career guidance, advice, and in some cases, mentorship.
The professors are very involved, says Ganesha Johnson, a recent graduate of the Masters of Education in Sport Administration program and current Athletic Director, Coordinator of Recreational Sports at Ohio State at Lima. “The faculty is very helpful and encouraging for the things I am trying to accomplish even though I am not physically on campus.” Johnson named Professor Windy Dees as someone who was particularly hands-on and helpful in steering her onto the right path.
For students who are willing and able to make the trip to Miami, UM offers several on-campus opportunities for online students. These include an optional orientation for all students as well as an optional one-week residency for MBA students. This year marked UOnline’s inaugural MBA residency -- 33 students from as far away as Luxembourg traveled to Miami’s Coral Gables campus where they completed one course in one week.
For students in the Masters of Education in Sport Administration program, the annual Sport Industry Conference offers an excellent opportunity to meet classmates and faculty in person, while networking with top industry professionals.
“The conference brings professional athletes and industry professionals together with the backdrop of Miami,” says Assistant Professor Alicia Jessop. “You get to interface and interact with some of the best of the best in the industry. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity we can uniquely offer our students.”