UPIKE to implement new learning schedule, offer free textbooks to help students thrive

UPIKE, COVID-19

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its impact on higher education, the University of Pikeville announced bold measures to meet student needs this fall, including an eight-week block schedule and textbooks at no cost for undergraduate students.

“Implementing an eight-week block schedule will benefit UPIKE students by allowing them to focus on up to three courses per block instead of the typical four or five classes per academic term,” said UPIKE’s Provost Lori Werth, Ph.D. “This transformation will enhance balance in students’ schedules, improve learning, and further enrich the relationships between students and professors with an increased focus on course material and communication.”

With the implementation of an eight-week block schedule, students will have even more time to pursue internships, leadership positions across campus, one of 23 collegiate sports, and experiential learning activities.

In March, university leadership began working on plans to transition to distance learning once colleges and universities were asked to go online as a result of COVID-19. The decision to transition to online and remote learning took place after consultations with the Pike County Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


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“Our faculty and staff worked tremendously hard to transition learning remotely, and we are so proud of their work,” said Werth.

“Difficult times require bold actions and the University of Pikeville stands ready to embrace the changes that lie ahead,” said UPIKE President Burton Webb, Ph.D. “Since we cannot know when we will be allowed to return to in-person classes on campus, as usual, UPIKE faculty are designing courses that can be taught online and easily migrated back into the classroom or taught as hybrid courses. Over a decade’s worth of research indicates that shorter courses are better, both in face-to-face and online contexts. Therefore, we are adjusting our calendar to contain two, eight-week blocks. Students will take block-length courses whether we are on campus or not. We believe this transition will improve student satisfaction and increase the likelihood of student success. We have experience with this approach in both our medical school and optometry school and believe it can work in the undergraduate context as well.”

Since its humble beginnings nearly 131 years ago, UPIKE has seen tremendous growth while maintaining the belief that economic challenges should not prevent bright students from pursuing their dreams. Any student that is a Kentucky resident who has completed the FAFSA receives the full amounts of Pell, CAP, and KTG grants can attend UPIKE with no additional charge for tuition; this is the Pikeville Promise.

With the continuation of the Pikeville Promise, a flexible new learning schedule and free textbooks, students will have every opportunity to thrive at UPIKE. For more information visit upike.edu.