During our Town Hall event on January 22, Wayne Smutz, associate vice president for Academic Outreach and executive director of Penn State World Campus, answered questions from Penn State adult learners around the world at an event streamed live from the Hintz Family Alumni Center on the University Park campus. We received so many great questions from students that we didn’t have time to get to them all. However, we didn’t want to leave any question unanswered, so here are the questions we didn’t have time for.
From Frank in Florida
“Do you have any specific advice for students who are thinking about earning more than one undergraduate degree?”
Answer from Alli Downs, World Campus academic adviser:
When pursuing more than one undergraduate degree, be sure to plan ahead and map out the courses you would like to take so you can coordinate with both degrees. In addition, it’s important to speak with your adviser to ensure that courses will satisfy requirements for both majors.
From Deb in Pennsylvania
“What is the potential for World Campus students to become honor students or have access to honor courses?”
Answer from Amanda Mulfinger, program manager for the College of the Liberal Arts and College of Communications courses:
Currently, World Campus does not offer any honors courses specifically designated with an “H” like they do at the University Park campus for Schreyer’s Honors College students. However, World Campus has a chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda, an honor society dedicated to adult learners who achieve and maintain high scholastic standards. You can find more information on the World Campus website.
From Maddie in Colorado
“Is there a forum or something for World Campus students to talk to other students? Like an online sorority or something?”
Answer from Elise Stevens, student communications:
We have various channels that students can communicate with other students on. The World Campus Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Corner of College and Allen student blog are ways you can connect with students all over the world.
From Ayaka in Texas
“As an undergrad I can’t take grad courses but there are grad courses that would help my career. I feel I have enough work experience to benefit from the courses. Is there any way I can take the class?”
Answer from Matt Rupert, World Campus academic adviser:
There is a way undergraduate students can take graduate level courses. Graduate courses, described in the Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin, are typically not available to undergraduates; however, exceptions are made for students who obtain the appropriate permission. The student must be a senior, have a 3.50 or higher cumulative grade point average, and have permission from the instructor. Advisers can put the student in a 500- or 800-level course once the Registrar receives these forms. Anyone with less than a 3.0 to 3.49 cumulative grade point average has to have the course approved by an academic adviser and the Graduate School. In some cases, colleges or departments need to approve the course, especially if it’s being used for a major requirement. You can speak with your academic adviser for more information.
From Curtis in Virginia
“My question is have there ever been talks to have current Penn State World Campus student representatives in the DC metro area (as well as other regions)? This is separate from the Penn State Alumni Chapters. This would allow current World Campus students to have study sessions and/or meet and greets. This will build friendships and bonds that you would get on an actual campus.”
Answer from Beth Kocher Gormley, student activities coordinator:
It is definitely important to have the friendship and support of other Penn Staters in your area.
We are currently piloting an online event with students in different geographic locations. The goal of the event is to give students in the same area an opportunity to connect with each other online and also ask questions to our staff. This will be a way for students in the same area to get to know one another online and then meet up if they choose to. We’re working on the format and hope to bring the event to cities around the country.
We also host events in different areas around the country each year, so keep an eye out for upcoming events in your area on our Community Calendar.
I like your idea of having student representatives in metro areas! The World Campus Blue and White Society represents student leadership for World Campus and might be interested in pursuing this idea. I’ll reach out to the Blue and White Society Executive Board on your behalf.
We are very interested to hear more ideas from students! If you have an idea for an event, please email Beth Kocher Gormley, student activities coordinator for Penn State World Campus and Continuing Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.