Online Classes Okayed

November 6, 2017

Last week, the University of Iowa Presidential Committee on Athletics unanimously approved a policy that would allow student-athletes to take most of their classes online, starting next semester.

According to The Gazette, the new policy requires athletes to take only three credit hours worth of face-to-face classes per semester. Previously, rules allowed athletes to take only one online class per semester unless they had the athletic department's approval.

According to Ned Bowden, a member of the committee and an associate professor of chemistry, online learning is so popular that the athletic department gave exemptions to hundreds of students per semester before the policy changed.

Only UI-taught online courses count toward degree and eligibility requirements, and student-athletes are not allowed to use self-guided or independent study courses to fulfill credit requirements.

JoElla Guagliardo, a senior field hockey player, attended the meeting. She said that online courses give student-athletes more flexibility, since they otherwise might be unable to take classes if the schedule conflicted with their sports.

“I do see this as a step in the right direction,” Guagliardo said.

Ross Wilson, head men's tennis coach, also attended the meeting. While he said he supported the ruling, he prefers that his players take face-to-face classes.

“Personally, I’d rather have them in class than online,” he said.

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