Ukrainian students take DePaul online courses

The administration was able to enroll Ukrainian students for the spring quarter within a few days.

DePaul offers free online courses for Ukrainian students. Approximately 100 students are taking 42 online synchronous and asynchronous courses in a variety of majors.

Working with the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU), DePaul wanted to help students continue their education amid the Russian invasion.

“When an opportunity arose to help, our staff and faculty immediately provided the logistics and support to make it possible,” DePaul Provost Salma Ghanem told Newsline. “DePaul is living our Catholic Vincentian mission by helping these students continue their education while their country is under attack.”

GianMario Besana, Associate Provost for Global Engagement and Online Learning, began working with UCU to enroll students during spring break. He worked with the national admissions team and the registry office.

“They worked the magic behind the scenes by getting the students in the system to ensure they were receiving the correct communications to learn how to activate their Blue Key entitlement so they could also gain access to Campus Connect” said Besana.

Besana compiled a list of online courses that would end no later than 1:00 p.m. Central European Time so that students could take synchronous courses.

Elissa Foster, a professor of health communication, has three Ukrainian students in a class. Although students may not major in Health Communications, their majors are still applicable.

“One of my Ukrainian students is studying marketing and has worked in health care marketing in Ukraine,” Foster said. “She saw this as an option for her to take a course and she jumped at it and it seems like exactly what she wanted to do.”

When Foster found out that her class was suitable for Ukrainian students, she was thrilled.

“I took the opportunity because, like many others, I think it’s hard to be aware of what’s going on in this country and not feel like you want to do something to help and the Having the opportunity to teach and support students, which is something I enjoy doing anyway,” Foster said.

The final details were organized over a three week period towards the end of the winter quarter, spring break and the start of the spring quarter.

“We got the list back from the partner with the students on Spring Break Friday,” Besana said. “So the approval, registration and all those things happened over the weekend. I think some members of the international approvals team and registry worked over the weekend to ensure this happened.”

Despite the short turnaround time, students were able to start classes on time with minimal technical difficulties.

“We’re working on the technical side a bit,” Foster said.

Students connect in class via Zoom. Foster saw that the students were willing to share their support.

“I felt these students were very careful, supportive and compassionate,” she said. ‘ I could see at one point in the chat that they were exchanging phone numbers so they could keep in touch. I thought that was a really nice gesture of interest on their part.”

Besana said the situation remains fluid regarding the extension of student enrollment into the summer and beyond.

“We are focused on making sure things are working and the student practiced successfully in the spring quarter,” he said. “Then we will open and continue the discussion with the partner to see what the needs are for the summer that we don’t know yet.”

The Vincentian Mission Remarks the importance of “an interconnected globalized society, a quality educational experience will reflect the complexity of cultural and social issues, the diversity of opinions and ways of thinking, and the appreciation of differences.”

“I think everything stems from this feeling that what is happening in Europe and in Ukraine is terribly wrong and we really want to help and support these young people who just want to continue their education and move on to their future. ‘ Foster said.

Besana is excited to see how the students will engage and learn from each other.

“Sharing their experiences, their culture, their approach to subjects, bringing their own traditions, their family history into the classroom and sharing it with our students is an extremely fascinating experience for both parties,” he said.

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