A full week of classes and living in a residence hall — during the summer? Traditional college students would likely bemoan it. Students in Mary Baldwin University’s Baldwin Online and Adult Programs (Baldwin Online and Adult Programs) revel in it.
“One of the most interesting things for me has been meeting people from the other regional centers,” said Walter Ampey of Charlottesville, who was at Summer Week for the first time in 2005. “Hearing about how they came to know Mary Baldwin and why they chose this school over others in their area has reaffirmed my decision to earn my degree here.”
Baldwin Online and Adult Programs Summer Week, June 25-29, is promoted as “six days without children, spouses, or outside obligations to interrupt your schedule and studies,” an opportunity about 70 students from the Shenandoah Valley to the state’s southern tier in South Boston are taking advantage of this year. After the intensive week on campus, students have until August 10 to complete the coursework online or via independent study from home to earn three or four credit hours based on the course.
Summer Week curriculum focuses on teacher education and preparation, with courses in elementary, middle, and high school methods and practicum, Developmental and Diagnostic Reading Instruction and Practicum, Intro to Art Education, and Math for Prospective Elementary Teachers making up the bulk of offerings. A timely class based on this year’s 400th anniversary of English settlement at Jamestown, along with Botany in the Field, Statistics for the Social Sciences, and Topics in Physical Science round out the choices.
Several of this year’s participants joined faculty, staff, Baldwin Online and Adult Programs alumnae/i, and others June 24 to kick off the week early with a 30th anniversary celebration for Mary Baldwin’s Baldwin Online and Adult Programs, which began in 1977 with eight female students. Today, approximately 1,200 adult students (women and men) are enrolled in Baldwin Online and Adult Programs’s Staunton campus and regional centers in Charlottesville, Roanoke, Richmond, South Boston, and Weyers Cave. Led by remarks from President Pamela Fox, the crowd celebrated 30 years of growth and evolution of one of the state’s first programs of its kind, and one that is still nationally recognized for innovative scheduling and programming. Regional directors Lallon Pond (Staunton), Susan Green (Charlottesville), Ann Alexander (Roanoke), Cathy McPherson ’78 (Richmond), Roger Wilborn (South Boston), Marion Ward (Weyers Cave and regional office coordinator) were all in attendance.
FromThe News Virginian: “[Mary Baldwin President Pamela] Fox said Baldwin Online and Adult Programs’s vibrancy was one of the strongest reasons for her decision to become Mary Baldwin’s president four years ago. She said the program falls in line with the school’s mission of providing a liberal arts education, but ‘in this case, it is to older men and women.’”
Baldwin Online and Adult Programs Timeline
1977:Mary Baldwin launches the Baldwin Online and Adult Programs (Baldwin Online and Adult Programs) with a class of eight women.
1978:Baldwin Online and Adult Programs graduates its first student
1979: Baldwin Online and Adult Programs opens its program to men. Enrollment grows to 150 students, 90 percent women
1983: First regional center opens in Richmond, Virginia
1984: Second regional center opens in Roanoke, Virginia
1985: Third regional center opens in Charlottesville in partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College
1992: Add Post Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure program to regional center and Staunton campus offerings
1993: Fourth regional center opens in Weyers Cave, Virginia in partnership with Blue Ridge Community College Full-time Baldwin Online and Adult Programs faculty increase from four to 14; student numbers increase from 150 to 1,100
1994 to 2002: Online courses and online registration become an option