By Cassidy Peterson
The amount of online credit hours that students are taking at Hutchinson Community College has significantly dropped. Data shows that last year about 19,525 credit hours were taken on as of Sept. 19, and this year 18,584 credit hours are being taken on Sept. 19. That means there were 941 more credit hours taken online last year, and that is a distinct difference in credit hours.
Denny Stoecklein, Director of Marketing and Public Relations said that although credit hours online have gone down it is important to remember that the past three years have been up significantly due to the pandemic. Now, he says, students enrolled and credit hours are up compared to what they were before the pandemic. Stoecklein also pointed out that new online courses begin each month, so credit hours and student enrollment may vary. He went on to say that most Hutch CC faculty have heard students say they prefer face to face classes and would rather do that then continue to take online courses after the pandemic.
Zoe Coonce, a HutchCC freshman, said that she has taken 29 credit hours online and she is currently taking three online credit hours.
“I do prefer to take online courses, as it gives me the opportunity to work on the class when I have the time to do it as long as it is done by the due date,” Coonce said. “When taking online courses, I don’t have to schedule each day around the times I have to go to in person classes.” She went on to say that she would “definitely take more online courses in the future.”
Another student, freshman Taylor Mathes, freshman, has taken 25 credit hours online. He said that he prefers in-person classes. Mathes said that it feels like he has to put more effort into in-person classes, which means a better understanding of the subject.
Kinley Jacques, another HutchCC freshman, who has and currently is enrolled in online courses. She says that she prefers online classes because of the flexibility and convenience of not having to get to campus and would definitely keep taking online courses.
Ben Helus, a freshman, says he prefers in person classes.
“I learn a lot more and am able to pay attention a lot better,” Helus said. “I would take another online class because it is an easy and less time consuming way to get a general class out of the way.”
It seems students are divided on whether online classes or in person classes are better, and which are preferred.