Students to be graded on work completed, not hours, in aftermath of COVID-19 shutdowns
By Alexa Shrake
Franklin College students who were unable to complete internship hours this semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic can still receive credit for their work.
Kirk Bixler, director of career development, said the department is looking at students on an individual basis. He said his team will evaluate students based on the work they completed, and students will not be disciplined for not completing their total semester hours.
Some students were able to continue working at their internship amidst business closures, while others have had to work virtually or stop all together.
“I know that many were not able to complete the required number of hours for the number of credits. This semester only, we’ll need to be really flexible,” Bixler said.
Some students are still completing their internships on schedule.
Senior Avery Bundy was able to continue working at his semester-long internship at an accounting firm. Bundy lives in Sheridan, Indiana, and said the accounting firm was still open, allowing him to arrange a way to complete his hours. Since then, the firm offered him a full-time job.
Education students, who are required to complete student teaching, are learning to adapt to virtual teaching while all Indiana public schools remain closed for the rest of the semester.
Senior Meghan Barnes is continuing to work virtually with her students while at home.
“Education is constantly changing, and the teachers need to change with it,” Barnes said. “Once this is all over and I am back in the classroom, there are going to be days where things do not go to plan, and my lessons will not get finished. Thanks to the pandemic, I now know not to stress these situations.”
Sophomore Christina Weller, who is virtually completing her student teaching at Walnut Grove elementary school in Bargersville, said a difficulty of completing her student teaching online is simply missing her daily interactions with her third-grade students.
“I want to see them, but I want them to be okay and if that means I only see them through a screen, then the sacrifice is worth it,” Weller said.
Barnes and Weller both said the virtual setting isn’t ideal. Barnes said she is unable to implement her lesson plans and is not sure whether her students are fully understanding the material.
Weller said while not being all together in one classroom had its disadvantages, she has learned a lot from the changes.
“It has shown me a lot in regards to being a teacher one day, as we can really see what a blessing technology in the classroom is right now since they still can do work and have access to lessons and seeing the teachers and staff reach out to the kids is really nice to see them care so much,” Weller said.
While many students are concerned with finding a job after graduation, Bixler said seniors have reported having jobs lined up and receiving job offers.
Bixler said he encourages students to still look for and apply to internships and jobs that will occur during summer or fall at indianaintern.net.