NORTH CANTON, Ohio — The coronavirus pandemic has rocked the country in unimaginable ways. It has especially taken a toll on colleges and universities across the state.
In North Canton, Walsh University is offering creative incentives for students in order to maintain and build enrollment.
What You Need To Know
- Walsh University transitioning from 15-week terms to 8-week terms
- Full-time freshmen and transfer students offered free housing
- Tuition freeze for all sophomore, junior and senior students
"Across the domain of higher education, we're expecting enrollment to drop. We already know there's a huge demographic shift that's going on across the country right now," said Tim Collins, Ed.D., president, Walsh University.
Beginning this fall, the university will be transitioning from 15-week terms to eight-week terms. Students will now be able to finish a bachelor's degree in just over two and a half years and a master's degree in four years. In addition, ten new majors will be added to the undergraduate academic programs.
"The research shows that students learn best a particular topic at about that eight-week point. So rather than taking a full load for 15 or 16 weeks, you'll take just a couple classes, two or three classes, and focus in on that course material and really learn it," said Collins.
Walsh University is also offering financial relief to its students. Full-time freshman and transfer students will be offered the opportunity to live on campus for free during their first eight-week term. For upperclassman, the university will freeze tuition for all sophomore, junior and senior students for two years, beginning with the 2020-2021 academic year.
"This is a risk for us. We're having to reach into our reserves and spend some reserves to help make this happen. We felt like we should try to do a little bit more right now because they need it more than ever," said Collins.
Collins hopes these new incentives will help students financially, while also motivating students to return to higher education.
"Education cannot stop. We cannot take a year out, two years out, and then come back and pick up where we left off. We have to keep producing leaders because we need people to get through the college experience to get out there and start gaining the experience in the workforce, so that they can grow up and become the leaders that we need them to be," said Collins. "We can turn off the economy with a switch, the governors can do this, we cannot turn it back on with a switch. Americans themselves, as citizens ourselves, will have to decide at what pace we want to resume."