FAQs: 8-Week Sessions

ADMISSIONS

How many sessions can a student sit out before having to re-apply for admission?

Any fully admitted student returning to an external campus or WBUonline after an absence of one year or longer must reapply for admissions. 

Admissions documents due and when (BAS and non BAS)?

For traditional degree students, all documents are due before the applicant can be considered for admission. For students pursuing the Bachelor of Applied Science, admissions documents are required by the end of the student's first free term (16 weeks). However, it is encouraged that all admissions documents are turned in as soon as possible, as to avoid any setbacks in future registrations. 

 

BOOKSTORE

When can I get my online textbook (if applicable)?

Automatic eBooks are available day one of class. 

Should I register during the last week of registration if a hard bound book is required?

With shorter sessions there may be quite a bit of reading required in that first week. It is essential to have a textbook in hand at the start of class. If you can't order the textbook prior to the start of class, you might want to consider taking the class during a different session. Many courses are moving to an etextbook that provides you with the textbook on the first day of class or before.

 

BUSINESS OFFICE

When will I receive my credit check?

In the event that your aid exceeds your charges, you may be eligible for a credit check. Credit checks will typically be issued 1-2 weeks after the session’s census date.

If I have an excess amount in aid, can I apply it to the next 8-week session instead of receiving a credit check?

Yes. You’ll need to sign a hold form that gives permission to hold the funds until the designated term.

Will a payment plan option still be available during the 8-week session?

Yes. There will be two payment due dates per session. Your first payment will be due the first day of class. Your second payment will be due a month later. A $50 payment plan fee will be added to your account.

After dropping a course, will I be eligible for a refund?

The refund rate schedule is listed in the academic catalog under Tuition and Fees/Refund Policy. There is a $10 administrative fee for each course dropped. After the first scheduled meeting of the class, special course fees are not subject to reductions and are due in full upon withdrawal.

Students receiving any type of financial assistance such as Pell grants and loans should check with the Financial Aid Office to fully understand the effects of dropping a course.

What will be my tuition and fees costs?
Check the current academic catalog for tuition and fees.

 

FINANCIAL AID

How many hours must I enroll in to be eligible for financial aid?

Most types of financial aid require at least half-time enrollment. Financial aid eligibility will be calculated based on your enrollment for the entire 16-week term, and not each 8-week session individually.

If I plan to enroll in only one 8-week session this term, may I still receive financial aid?

Financial aid will be calculated based on your total enrollment within a defined 16-week term, so you will have to be enrolled at least half-time in an 8-week session to be eligible for most types of financial aid. 

How will my enrollment impact my financial aid eligibility?

We assume that all students intend to enroll full-time for the 16-week term, and estimate financial aid for the fall and spring terms based on this assumption. Financial aid will be adjusted according to actual enrollment at the census date of each 8-week session prior to disbursement.

Will all of my financial aid be disbursed at the beginning of the term or at the beginning of each 8-week session?

Financial aid will be disbursed after the census date of each 8-week session. Financial aid may only be disbursed according to what you are eligible for (based on enrollment) at the time of disbursement. For example, if you are enrolled less than half-time for Session 1, you may not receive any financial aid disbursements until you add enough classes to be half-time in that Session or reach census date in Session 2 and classes of combined Session 1 and 2 are equal to at least half-time.

If I drop a class, how does that affect my aid?

Generally, enrollment is "locked" at census date during each 8-week session. Financial Aid is adjusted after the census date of each 8-week session and disbursement of financial aid will be based on "locked" enrollment at that time. 

I have been conditionally admitted to WBU, may I still receive financial aid?

Financial aid will only be disbursed for students who have been fully admitted to WBU. 

How can I apply for financial aid for the summer term?

The summer term is considered a "trailing" term at WBU and financial aid eligibility is calculated separately from the regular academic year (fall and spring). Summer eligibility will be determined upon request, using the same Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) evaluated for the regular academic year. Summer financial aid is generally limited to unused federal and state aid eligibility from the academic year and/or private student loans. 

What if my financial aid eligibility has not been determined or my aid has not been disbursed, should I still enroll/attend classes?

Yes. The Office of Financial Aid communicates with you primarily through your WBU email account - check it frequently. NetPartner (studentfinaid.wbu.edu) is also available for students to check for missing documents or view and accept aid. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid or the Financial Aid Advisor at your campus to check the status if you are unsure. 

 

VETERAN'S BENEFITS

Am I able to receive VA dollars for more than one session at a time?

Yes. You will receive the whole amount of money for the Tuition and Fees for the classes that you are enrolled in per session. BAH/MAH will be paid out monthly according to your rate of pursuit per session.

Do I have to be enrolled full-time during each 8-week session?  

Yes. If you are not enrolled full-time for each 8-week session, your BAH/MAH will be affected.  

For VA purposes, what is considered full-time enrollment?

Undergraduate:

Students enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a 16-week term are considered full-time. Students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours in each of the two 8-week sessions within a 16-week term are considered full-time.

Graduate:

Students enrolled in 9 or more hours during a 16-week term are considered full-time. Students enrolled in 4 or more credit hours for an 8-week session are considered full-time and students enrolled in 3 hours in each of the two 8-week sessions within a 16-week term are considered 3/4 time. 

Will the VA still only pay 50% of the BAH/MAH if I take the classes for the 8-week sessions online only?

Yes, this requirement has not changed.

What happens if I have to drop a class or classes?

Nothing has changed in this area. If you find yourself needing to drop a class, you must let the School Certifying Official know so he/she can adjust or terminate your certification with the VA within 30 days of your request to drop. If you wait until the "W" (withdrawal) period to drop, the VA does not pay for your classes. This information is sent to the VA and you will owe the VA all of the monies paid to you.

 

WBU POLICY

What do the different sessions mean?

A session is a name for the 8-week duration of a course(s). There will be 5 sessions during the calendar year:

     Fall 1 8-week session and Fall 2 8-week session = Fall 16-week term

     Spring 1 8-week session and Spring 2 8-week sessions =Spring 16-week term

     Summer 8-week is a stand-alone session  

What is considered a full load? Part-time?  Undergrad/Grad

Undergraduate:

Students enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a 16-week term are considered full-time. Students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours in each of two consecutive 8-week sessions (e.g. Fall 1 and Fall 2, Spring 1 and Spring 2) within a 16-week term are considered full-time.

Graduate:

Students enrolled in 9 or more hours during a 16-week term are considered full-time. Students enrolled in 4 or more credit hours for an 8-week session are considered full-time and students enrolled in 3 hours in each of two consecutive 8-week sessions within a 16-week term are considered 3/4 time.

The 2020-21 Wayland Catalog will state the following: 

"University's Graduate Course Load

Course Length          Course Load          Student Status

16-week                       9 credit hours         full-time

                                     6 credit hours         three-quarter time

                                    4 credit hours          half-time

Students using Ch. 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits must be more than half-time in order to receive the housing stipend. Student using any Veterans Education Benefits from the Veterans Administration must contact the School Certifying Official to determine how their rate of pursuit during an 8-week session of a 16-week term will affect their benefits for Tuition and Fees, as well as their Basic/Monthly Allowance for Housing (BAH/MAH). The BAH/MAH payment will be based on the rate of pursuit according to the VA’s calculations.

8-week session          4 credit hours          full-time

                                   3 credit hours           three-quarter time"

 

REGISTRATION

When will I be able to register? 

Registration for all students will begin 4 weeks prior to Fall 1&2, Spring 1&2 and the Summer sessions. There is no late registration. Students can register for the 2 sessions (Fall 1 and Fall 2) and the 2 sessions (Spring 1 and Spring 2) at one time if they so choose. Students may continue to register for the second session (Fall 2 and Spring 2) through the first sessions (Fall 1 and Spring 1) until first day of the second session. Again, there will be no late registration for the second sessions.

How do I register?

You can go into Student Services when registration opens. Utilizing the session schedules and course rotations posted in Blackboard and on the WBU website, you should select courses based on your degree plan and communication with your advisor. Be sure to select the appropriate session, campus, and section you want in order to register in the correct course.  

How long is Registration Open?

Registration will be open four weeks before the Fall 1, Spring 1, and Summer sessions begin and there will be no late registration for each session. Fall 2 and Spring 2 registration will continue until the first day of those sessions.

Can I register for more than one session at a time?

Student may register for Fall 1 and Fall 2 during the four weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall 1 session, then continue to register for Fall 2 until the beginning of the Fall 2 session. There will be no late registration for any session. Spring 1 and Spring 2 will follow the same process. There is only one Summer session.

Will any late registrations be allowed?

NO.

 

REGISTRAR

When will I get my final grade?

Grades should be posted by close of business on the first Tuesday following the end of the session. Grades may be viewed in the student's account in Student Services. 

Will we now have graduation postings five times per year?

There will be three postings per year. Fall (end of Fall 2), Spring (end of Spring 2) and the end of the Summer session.

When will students need to apply for graduation?

The application for graduation deadlines are posted in the external academic calendar on the WBU website as well as on the respective campus websites.  

 

STUDENT QUESTIONS

How do the shorter sessions speed up my degree plan?

8-week sessions allow you to complete 24+ hours of course work in four sessions and provides an additional 6+ hours in the fifth session.

What workload can I expect from a full load of classes?

8-week session classes will have specific course objectives to be met, but it is NOT 11 weeks of work crammed into 8 weeks. Courses are redesigned. You may find different types of assignments and interactions in the classroom. Two courses (6 hours) is considered a full load during a session. Time management will be important as learning will be more focused and intense. Consider approximately 10-12 hours of work each week for each class.

How do I know how many classes to register for?

It is suggested you take two courses per 8-week session (a full time load). Students new to online learning may choose to take one course. Students well established as accomplished learners, with good time management skills may consider 3 courses but this is not recommended. Talk with your advisor and review your degree plan to determine which courses to take during which sessions.

Do we still get a spring break? Christmas break?

Good news. Holidays are still considered important at WBU. There will be a week at Thanksgiving during Fall 2, a full two weeks at Christmas between sessions (no homework or studying), Spring break falls between Spring 1 and Spring 2 sessions (no homework or studying). Many federal holidays and Good Friday and Easter Monday remain time off from class. Please check the university calendar for specific holidays.

Are instructors still going to be flexible about short deployments or taking a week off?

WBU and its instructors are always willing to work with our military students when faced with a short deployment. Any expected or planned time away should be discussed with the instructor prior to enrollment to determine how it might affect your performance in the class.  Remember the Bb Student Mobile App and etextbooks allow you to remain connected to your classroom in the event of an emergency.

When can I get to my course in Blackboard?

Course will open on Sunday (midnight) for the first week of classes. Some instructors choose to open classes prior to that time. It is at their discretion.

If a student finishes coursework for a bachelor degree in Fall 1, can they begin a graduate program in Fall 2?

Yes. If a student finishes coursework for the bachelor's degree in Fall 1, but the degree does not post until the conclusion of Fall 2, then the student can receive "Letter of Completion" from the appropriate undergraduate office and proceed with admission. (Please note that the bachelor's degree will not post until the end of the fall term.)

 

ADVISOR QUESTIONS:

When will we know the session dates?

Dates for each session through Summer 2021 are set and available on the website.

Are we still processing registration for four weeks?

Yes. There will be a four-week registration, but there is no late registration. We will hold pretty firmly on this closure.

When will we be trained on the new processes?

Training dates have not been firmly set. It will be this spring.

When can we talk to students about our new processes/sessions?

You can talk to them now. It has been announced at the external campuses and information sent to current students in WBUonline.

Will we have hard cut off dates for new applicants each term?

There will not be hard cutoffs for traditional degree students. The student must submit his/her documents before the beginning of the term. The exception could be with those looking to enter the Nursing Program.

Will our degree plan creation time need to be expedited?

Degree plan creation time will need to be expedited for active duty military students. 

How do we handle students who want to take an overage?

It is suggested that students first attempting an 8-week session not take an overload so they can become familiar with the intensity of the learning and time management needed. Student may take up to nine hours without the approval of the VPAA.

When will the class schedule be available to us; how far out in advance?

We plan to have a three year course rotation for all schools up on the website. Class schedules for Sessions will be posted for a full year in advance. Those are being built now. External Campus and WBUonline schedules will be in a portal for easy access either in Blackboard or the WBU website.

 

FACULTY QUESTIONS

When will courses be available on Blackboard?

We plan to have 5 sessions (one year) in the portal. That will allow us to snapshot them into Blackboard. But filling our servers with several sessions of upcoming courses can be costly. We hope to have at least two up and coming sessions available. So during Fall 1 - Fall 2 and Spring 1 will become available for faculty to work in. We hope to have the first 8-week session (Fall1) available in late Spring.

When will grades be due at the end of a session?

Grades are due Tuesday after the close of the session by 5 pm Central Time.

How will 8-week classes affect teaching loads? How many courses at a time would a full-time instructor teach?

Annual faculty workload remains the same: 

  • Full-time faculty members with 9- or 10-month contracts teach a regular load of 24 workload hours each year. (1 credit hour at the undergraduate level equals 1 workload hour; 1 credit hour at the 5000/master’s level equals 1.25 workload hours.) 
  • Full-time faculty members with 12-month contracts teach a regular load of 33 workload hours each year. (1 credit hour at the undergraduate level equals 1 workload hour; 1 credit hour at the 5000/master’s level equals 1.25 workload hours.)
  • Full-time faculty members with 12-month contracts employed to teach doctoral-level courses teach a regular load of 21 credit hours (the equivalent of 47.25 workload hours) each year.
  • Full-time, non- doctoral faculty members with 9-, 10-, or 12-month contracts must not exceed the maximum annual workload of 48 total hours per year without prior approval from the VPAA.
  • Adjunct instructors may teach no more than 6 credit hours at one time and no more than 24 credit hours per year without prior approval from the VPAA.

Full-time faculty members with 12-month contracts will likely teach 6 credit hours/two courses for four sessions a year, and 9 credit hours/3 courses for one session a year.

See Policy 2.8.1 for specifics.

When is census attendance due?

Census is the second Monday of the session - the eight day of the session - after one week of class.

When should ROUP/Predict messages be sent out? (I believe in the past we have suggested doing this by Week 5 in lieu of midterm grades.)

The Predict messages can be sent out at any time but it is suggested that the end of week 3 would be a good time frame. And week 4 would be considered Midterm

When can we have access to the textbook for instructors?

The sooner the bookstore gets course schedules and textbook adoptions, the sooner we can provide access to instructors. Our goal is to have the Automatic eBooks available to instructors when registration opens for the term. 

Does the 25% rule of absences before a professor can fail a student still apply (two absences in the 8 week sessions for on-site classes)?

Basically, yes. The 2020-21 Wayland Catalog has been revised to state:  "Any student absent 25 percent or more of the online course, i.e., non-participatory during 2 or more weeks of an 8-week session, may receive an F for that course."  

Is the Plainview campus moving to 8-weeks sessions now or in the near future?

No, there are no plans to move face-to-face Plainview courses to 8-week sessions now or in the near future. 

Can Plainview f2f students take 8-week sessions?

Yes

Is there a maximum number of hours that a Plainview f2f student can take online?

No--unless dictated by a student's scholarship or other financial award.

When can Plainview students register for 8-week session courses?

With the beginning of the summer 2020 term, Plainview students may begin registering at the same time as all other external and online students. 

Are the class times going to be longer?

It depends in part on whether the course is entirely face-to-face or hybrid. "Guidelines for Teaching 8-week Sessions" suggests, in part:

 

A fully online 8-week session course might include:

Approx. 5.3 hours of lecture or class/week, which might include:

  • 2-3 separate discussion boards/week (early, mid, late) = 2.5 hours/week interactive online class
  • 2-3 videos or recorded lectures/week (early, mid, late) = 2.5 hours/week interactive online class

Weekly homework might include:

  • Readings (3-4 scholarly articles or textbook chapters/week) = 5 hours/week homework
  • 2 additional assignment submissions/week (written responses, group work, video viewing, educational site visits, interviews, etc.) = 5 hours/week homework

 

A fully f2f 8-week session course might include:

Meeting f2f for lecture or class approx. 5.3 hours/week, with approx. 10.75 hours of homework/week

  • Could do 2, 2.5-hour class meetings 2 nights each week, or 1, 5-hour session every Saturday (similar to what the MAC program does)

Weekly homework might include:

  • Readings (3-4 scholarly articles or textbook chapters/week) = 5 hours/week homework
  • 2 additional assignment submissions/week (written responses, group work, video viewing or creating, educational site/field visits, interviews, etc.) = 5 hours/week homework

 

A hybrid or blended 8-week session course might include:

Meeting f2f for lecture or class approx. 2.5 hours/week with additional 2.5 hours/week of interactive online class, & approx. 10 hours of homework/week

Likely meet f2f 1 night/week for 2.5 hours

  • Consider using the f2f time to flesh out concepts, or address confusion on processes, or discuss examples or cases rather than lecturing on content the student could read or watch outside the classroom.
  • A synchronous video conference via Collaborate or Zoom might be used as an alternate meeting.

Weekly additional, interactive online class might include:

  • 2 separate discussion boards/week = 1.25 hours/week interactive online work
  • 2 videos or recorded lectures/week = 1.25 hour/week interactive online work

Weekly homework might include:

  • Readings (3-4 scholarly articles or textbook chapters/week) = 5 hours/week homework
  • 2 additional assignment submissions/week (written responses, group work, video viewing or creating, educational site/field visits, interviews, etc.) = 5 hours/week homework

Do we do the same number of exams?

It just depends on the course and the instructor; probably fewer exams, but each course will likely incorporate other activities, such as quizzes, as alternatives to exams.

When should we do final exams?

Final exams should be given in Week 8.

Nursing Faculty: How do we do all of the clinical hours?

8-hour clinicals will go to 12 hours and 16 hours to 24 hours per week times 7 weeks.

How does a faculty member transition an 11-week course—graduate or otherwise---into an 8-week session and still maintain a strong research component? How will we teach these courses fully and well in such a shortened time, especially courses like the art history surveys?

WBUonline will continue to offer training and tips for transitioning courses from 11- and 16-week terms to 8-week sessions, but more than ever, faculty teaching 8-week sessions must be intentional about focusing on/teaching to the course outcomes listed on the syllabi templates. As you review your current 11-week course/syllabus, link each of the course’s current lectures, activities, and assignments to a course outcome. If a lecture, activity, or assignment cannot be directly linked to a course outcome, consider altering, replacing, or removing that item. 

In general, the pace of the course will quicken, the assignments may need to be altered, and for graduate courses, there may be an opportunity to link or connect research between two consecutive 8-week courses/sessions. Graduate students should be warned in advance that the 8-week session courses will move much more quickly. Faculty members can also do their own research to see how other institutions have moved specific courses within their disciplines to 8-week sessions.