Summer school at the University of Lynchburg will be held entirely online this year. It’s a good time for students to get ahead, take courses they didn’t have time for during the regular academic year, or just explore new interests — all from the safety of home.
Sessions run May 18 through June 5, June 8 through June 26, and June 29 to July 17.
Summer school students will have the same professors they’d have for on-campus classes. Since moving classes online for the remainder of the spring semester, faculty have reported that learning in the virtual classroom has been an extraordinarily positive experience for their students.
The summer school course lineup includes a new class inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, INTL 398: Navigating the Threat of Pandemics — Security and Safety Responses. It can be used to fulfill major requirements for international relations and security studies or the new intelligence studies major, which starts this fall.
The class takes a “ripped-from-the-headlines” approach, looking at how governments around the world have dealt with the pandemic and what goes into making the tough decisions needed to keep citizens safe.
“At a basic level, what are the various government agencies that handle events like this, and what are the policy choices states can make?” David Richards, chair of international relations, said. “But, at a more analytical level, we will address the concept of risk assessment, that is, how do governments decide what to do based on how much risk is involved? …
“Students will learn that it’s not easy to make these choices, especially when there is a time limit and decisions are life and death. I also hope they learn that, while these are hard choices, in the end, we, governments, do have to make a choice. And you base that choice on evidence and data that you gather.”
The course was born out of discussions Richards and his political science and social science colleagues were having about the pandemic and how it could be used as a “teaching moment.” With summer school fast approaching, the timing was right.
“Security studies and intelligence studies as disciplines provide an ideal lens to examine the pandemic, since they focus on what states need to do to provide security, which is different from how do you solve the medical problem of the pandemic,” Richards said.
“I decided that a class would be an ideal way to look at this issue through a political lens, and that a summer course would allow students to look at the issue in the moment.”
Other highlights of the summer school lineup include BIOL 222: Human Anatomy and Physiology, NRSG 225: Nursing Fundamentals, SPAN 101: Elementary Spanish, GS 435: Senior Symposium, DELL 103: Environmental Disasters and Sustainability in the Roman World, ACCT 202: Principles of Accounting II, HP 221W: Global Health, and MUSC 102: World Music and Culture.
For more information and a complete listing of courses, visit the summer school webpage.