By Allison Sink '12, B.A. in Media and Information; '19, M.A. in Strategic Communication
Times have changed, more classes are shifting to online to help keep everyone safe and healthy. So, with classes moving online, are we still receiving the same education we would if we attended in person?
I received both my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree from ComArtSci at Michigan State University. For both degrees, I took classes online.
During my time as an undergrad, I took online classes for several reasons: saving time commuting, saving money (gas, bus pass, eating out), being able to pace myself, having recorded lectures available to listen to again instead of trying to rely on notes I took, and being able to quickly catch up on extra courses after changing my major. I also knew that online classes counted towards my degree the same way that in-person classes did, were taught by the same instructors, and would ultimately lead to me receiving the same degree.
In the Strategic Communication M.A. program, my master’s degree was offered completely online. I feel like I got the quality education that I received during my undergrad. Even though the program is completely online, there was still a large sense of community and opportunities to gain experiences which included online meetups to talk to instructors, fellow classmates, and the program director in an informal setting. Even though we were all learning remotely, we were able to develop relationships and still feel like a part of the Spartan community.
With all that being said, I don’t feel like I lost out on any part of my education just because I was learning virtually. Rather I feel like I was lucky to be able to continue my education regardless of being on the physical campus. I was lucky to still experience what it is like to be a Spartan, regardless of the learning happening different than the traditional manner.
I decided to come to MSU because of the experiences I would have and the beautiful campus, but more importantly because of the high-quality education I knew I would receive and because I wanted my degrees to have Michigan State University printed at the top. As I navigated my professional career, I wanted those degrees to be the ones that appeared on my resume.
So, even if we’re limited in how we can learn right now, know that the degree doesn't change, just the vehicle that helped you earn it.