Hybrid Learning FAQs
Where can I read the communications about the shift to Hybrid Learning?
All students were notified via email on June 26, 2020 that we were teaching all courses this coming year remotely/online using the 5-week, eight-term nonstandard calendar. That announcement can be found here. Students were notified via email on August 3, 2020 that Unity College plans to teach all of its courses (both online and in-person) using the nonstandard calendar (instead of the traditional semester calendar) even after this coming year. That announcement can be found here.
What is hybrid learning? Why is the College moving to this model?
- This gives our current and future students maximum flexibility.
- Current Flagship and Hybrid students can complete their degrees while having the flexibility to take advantage of the new calendar and tuition model.
- Students can take advantage of being considered full-time for financial aid purposes while experiencing internships throughout the year, expanding their knowledge and experience in their field of study while building their professional network.
- This is an exciting opportunity to advance our mission to serve a broader audience.
- We are making a Unity College education more accessible, affordable, and flexible than ever before.
- This model allows prospective students from all walks of life to see themselves in our mission.
- The flexibility of this model allows us the opportunity to engage with partners in new and exciting ways, creating more opportunities for our students and alumni.
- This model is COVID-19 resistant should there be a second wave that prevents students from attending in-person classes and experiences.
- The Hybrid Learning model allows for face-to-face learning when it can safely occur for those who would like that opportunity.
How is hybrid Learning more flexible, accessible, and affordable?
- Unity College Hybrid Learning offers 8 start dates a year, 5-week terms, and the opportunity to easily take terms off without impacting education outcomes.
- Shorter terms, a nonstandard calendar, differentiated tuition, decentralized location, and a multi-modal curriculum offer students more flexibility and more control over the cost, pace, and modality of their education.
- Unity College: Hybrid Learning suits student needs at any given time and combines the benefits of Unity’s online learning and face-to-face models. Hands-on learning is available when needed without requiring students to be locked into one location and modality for the duration of their program.
- All of these benefits fulfill our vision of providing a more diverse, just, equitable, and sustainable education that invites students from all parts of the world to learn with us in a way that fits their lifestyle.
- A Hybrid education is more affordable than our Flagship program: $550 per credit hour for face-to-face courses, and $470 per credit hour for online courses. This can decrease annual tuition by over 50%.
How does Hybrid Learning support Unity College’s focus on face-to-face and experiential learning?
The face-to-face learning approach is consistent with our future direction and we continue to value that element of our mission within our curriculum. Unity College is widely known and will continue to be so for its immersive, hands-on learning experiences and training the environmental leaders of the future. Hybrid Learning will build on that legacy and afford students opportunities to engage in face-to-face learning as they choose. In fact, we are planning to deliver hands-on learning in even more innovative ways including at our working farm in Thorndike, ME and 154-acre property called Sky Lodge, in western Maine, both of which were generously donated to us over the last five years. We are also looking to partner with other properties across the state of Maine to truly realize Maine as our classroom. In 2021, hopefully once the COVID pandemic is behind us, we are preparing to launch an immersive, expeditionary curriculum called TERRAIN.
As a current student, can I continue with my current degree program?
All current Unity College students can continue or complete their degrees within Hybrid Learning. This means that you will be able to complete your degree with your current major (e.g., Sustainable Agriculture) and do not need to choose one of the five HL majors (although you are free to do so). You will also be able to complete a second major and/or a minor to the extent possible. Please note that, as has been the case, courses for second majors and minors are not guaranteed to fit within your schedule.
How is Hybrid Learning more affordable without my unfunded tuition discount scholarship?
Unity College Hybrid learning has abandoned the unfunded tuition discount scholarship model for a more sustainable and affordable lower cost per credit hour tuition structure. Average net tuition per student in Hybrid is lower than our historical discounted tuition. The tuition and fee cost under the flagship model was $30,370 without housing. The hybrid model cost $550 for face-to-face and $470 per credit hour plus a comprehensive fee. The cost for the same 30 credits in hybrid is $15,460 for the upcoming school year as Unity College does not plan to return to face-to-face learning for 2020-2021. When we return to the face-to-face option, the cost for 30 credits will be $17,860 per year should a student choose to take all their courses face-to-face.
Who will be teaching the Hybrid Learning curriculum?
Unity College degrees, and the overall curriculum, are designed around specific courses and credit distributions, rather than individual faculty members. All of our courses are taught by qualified, discipline specific, full-time and adjunct faculty members. Every course at Unity College will continue to be designed and delivered by highly qualified subject matter expert faculty and instructional & curriculum designers.
View our list of current full time Hybrid faculty members, most of whom are familiar to our current student population.
What does my day to day in Hybrid Learning look like now? What will it look like when we can return to in-person learning?
On a weekly basis, you should plan to invest approximately 25 hours for each three-credit, five-week course you are enrolled in. All of your courses are organized in weekly “modules” in Canvas, and at the beginning of each week, your instructor will post the module’s learning materials and assignments, along with a video lecture orienting you to the week’s themes and activities. Your assignments will be due on Wednesdays and Sundays, and every class will include a weekly discussion board, either in Canvas or on external collaboration tools like Perusall, to facilitate connection and an exchange of ideas with your classmates and instructor. In addition to the discussion board, your instructor will post up to two other graded assignments per weekly module.
Many of your instructors may also elect to hold weekly live class meetings where discussions, workshops, demonstrations, and materials review may occur. These meetings will be optional, and your grade will not be impacted if you cannot join, but they will provide an opportunity to further build community with your class. You will also have access to your instructor through live virtual weekly office hours, including “drop-in” times and one-on-one conferences as needed. Even though your online courses will be delivered asynchronously, it will be important to pace yourself and set aside daily work time.
Our return to in-person learning presents exciting opportunities that we look forward to sharing with you. While some of your courses may take place in a classroom setting, others will be location-specific. Instead of, for example, reading about the impacts of melting permafrost on the barrier island of Shishmaref, Alaska, you may travel there to witness those impacts on the community firsthand. Your sustainable mariculture course may largely be based on Hurricane Island in Penobscot Bay, whereas a wildlife techniques course may take you to Unity College Sky Lodge in Jackman, Maine.
- What courses will be offered during the next year?
What Platform is used for Hybrid Learning courses?
Canvas is the Learning Management System (LMS) used to offer online courses for both Hybrid Learning and Distance Education programs. The Canvas LMS allows institutions to build the digital learning environment that meets the unique needs of their students and curriculum. Both our Residential program and online programs have been utilizing Canvas for over 7 years. Canvas is a powerful tool designed to offer student-friendly online experiential learning experiences, and allows our face to face and remote classes the flexibility it needs with our expeditionary mindset.
Does Hybrid Learning offer wellness services?
Counseling and health consultations are provided through individualized telehealth services. This service is available to all Hybrid Learning students whether they are remote learners or taking in-person classes, and basic coverage is included in the Comprehensive Fee. Students can also access Therapist Assisted Online (TAO), an interactive, dynamic, and easy-to-access online program. It was designed for addressing issues related to anxiety and depression, which are the problems most commonly faced by college students. Students seeking copies of health records from the Wellness Center should contact their Hybrid Learning Coach, who will arrange the transfer.