Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is introducing the Premiere Experience for students this fall, allowing for more flexibility in their college experience. Students will be offered classes in online and hybrid flexible (HyFlex) formats that will allow them to customize their learning experience. Online classes will be more dynamic and robust, while HyFlex classes will combine face-to-face and online learning in a flexible format that permits students to attend individual class sessions in person or online, depending on their preference.
As colleges and universities around the country try to decide how to best resume on-campus classes this fall, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will offer a completely customizable learning experience to its students. Through the Premiere Experience at MGCCC, students can take either online or HyFlex courses. Using this model, students can choose to attend class on campus or virtually, make use of video conferencing and video of individual class sessions, and participate in classes from home either synchronously or asynchronously.
“To best ensure the health and safety of our students, Gulf Coast has embraced the HyFlex model along with online-learning to provide courses and programs in fall 2020,” said Dr. Mary S. Graham, MGCCC president. “As part of the Premiere Experience, our fall classes will be more dynamic and robust, as we incorporate the best teaching strategies and embrace the newest technologies. We are excited about our students returning to our campuses and residence halls in the fall of 2020 and want to offer choices for our students while maintaining safe learning, living, and working conditions within the traditional college environment.”
Attending Gulf Coast is always a wise decision because of its affordability, small class sizes, and the quality of instruction. The college has excellent agreements with in-state colleges and universities and many other institutions in the region that allow for ease of transfer and ensure students get the best opportunities. National certification through career and technical programs helps students begin careers in high-demand fields. Additionally, Gulf Coast offers a wide variety of accelerated programs that get students on the road to a great career at maximum speed. Through the Premiere Experience, students gain a personalized education that allows them to prepare for the future they want.
Dr. Jonathan Woodward, executive vice president of Teaching and Learning/Community Campus, said the new approach will maximize as much on-campus learning and face-to-face curriculum possible. “Generally speaking, we will use a digital infrastructure through virtual learning and add audio-visual content and face-to-face classes while keeping highly structured course content and standardized textbooks as the base. This provides students with quality instruction in a flexible and customizable learning environment.”
He added that the two new options will offer students more control over their learning and will provide maximum adaptability. “This will help accommodate students working full time, student athletes or those having a fluctuating work schedule. Students can change their mode of attendance weekly or by topic, according to need or preference, but will complete the same content and take the same assessments. HyFlex encourages students to be more engaged and to take greater initiative in their learning,” he said. “This will help MGCCC move toward a more customized/personalized teaching and learning approach – one that is more likely to meet individual student needs. And maybe the greatest advantage for the college is that it ensures classes can continue despite weather and environmental issues or other events that might prevent on-campus class meetings.”
Unlike strictly online classes, HyFlex classes will allow students to participate in a traditional classroom and receive in-person support from instructors and other students. There will be certain classes, most notably those in career and technical areas, that may mandate face-to-face attendance on a more regular schedule. For students who prefer virtual engagement, they will be able to meet with instructors and other students through video conferences and chats, watch video lectures and attend class virtually. The Premiere Experience will offer Gulf Coast students the best educational opportunities for their needs.
The college is launching several initiatives that will help students prepare for the upcoming academic year. Information on those programs will be unveiled in the next week.
MGCCC is currently enrolling students for fall semester. Fall semester classes offered through the Premiere Experience begin August 20.