January 11, 2018

UOnline Welcomes its Newest Cohort of Students

Welcome new UOnline students

UOnline Welcomes its Newest Students

On January 6, UOnline welcomed new students with an orientation at UM’s Coral Gables campus. The on-campus orientation is just one way that the University of Miami aims to close the gap between online distance learners and their fellow students and faculty, by giving everyone the opportunity to meet in person.

Orientation day events

The day kicked off with breakfast and a campus tour. Then students participated in break-out sessions based on their degree program. Faculty introductions were followed by lunch with the professors, and an alumni and student panel in the afternoon gave new students a chance to hear from their peers. Career Services also provided information on how students can access career resources throughout their tenure as student and alumni. The day wrapped up with a reception and networking event at Titanic Brewery Company.

Students share their thoughts

Throughout the day, UOnline students shared what attracted them to their degree program. “As a working professional, I think it's more accessible than on-campus classes,” said Monica Balda, who is enrolled in the Master’s of Science in Finance program. “As a Miami local I have always wanted to go the U. And it was one of the best programs in Florida.” Other students were already familiar with the U and happy to be back. Dwayne Lindsey, a student in the MSED in Sport Administration program and a UM undergrad, noted that the convenience of the online courses is key. “And of course I love the U,” he said.

Arlene Buckland, a Masters in Health Informatics student, agreed with his point about convenience and added, “I like the flexibility that the online classes offer. It's been a long time since I've been back. I just wanted to broaden my horizons and it's always been a goal of mine to go back to school.”

Faculty advice for online learners

Meeting their online students in person is also something the faculty looks forward to. They emphasized to the students that the interaction does not end when they leave campus. “One thing that I think makes our programs different is the commitment and engagement within the online space,” said Windy Dees, a professor in the MSED in Sport Administration program. “The touch points are very high with this program, which is why I encourage you to ask questions and engage with not only us but also your classmates.”

By attending the on-campus orientation, these new UOnline students are off to a great start. “Students, when they graduate this program and come [back] to campus, you would think they have been on campus for the duration of the program based on the bonds and friendships they have built,” said Professor Dees.