STU DISTANCE LEARNING SYSTEM
St. Thomas University recognizes the value of the didactic methodology used to deliver “knowledge” in distance education in the American university system. Its primary objective is to create an educational environment within which, even in space-time distance, human and personal relationships are preponderant over the mere transit of information.
The Innovative Didactics adopted by STU takes full advantage of the potential of computer-educational technologies and, in particular, multimedia, interactivity with learning materials, human interactivity, the possibility of customizing learning paths, the interoperability of the systems used and generated during the use of technological systems, the accessibility of content and the flexibility of student use.
The educational activity of STU is carried out in a web-based environment (Learning Management System – LMS).
In this system, the student has never left alone, even if isolated by the space-time distance; students are guided by the tutor and stimulated to interact with other actors in the educational process, thus realizing moments of sharing and collaborative learning.
STU Academic Calendar and Class Schedule
The academic year is individualized for each student in that it begins with the first course in a degree program and ends when the student has completed the required credits and weeks of class time.
A week of instructional time is seven consecutive days in which classes are held. In asynchronous distance learning courses, the instructional time is based on the student completing the instructional activity. Courses related to a bachelor’s degree program last five consecutive weeks; courses related to a master’s program last six straight weeks. When students finish a course, they may begin the new one immediately the following week.
A maximum of two courses may be enrolled in at the same time. However, STU suggests that students take one course at a time. This intensive mode allows the student to focus more attention and resources on a single topic. It is an instructional mode that enhances learning and helps students achieve their educational goals more time-efficient and outcome-oriented.
Class time is measured from the first day of class or examination and does not include vacations, scheduled academic breaks, or orientation periods.
Assignment of Credit Hours
Student work is measured in credit hours (CH).
To earn a bachelor’s degree, the student must complete 120 approved credit hours.
To earn a master’s degree, the student must complete at least 36-45 approved credit hours, depending upon the specific degree’s requirements.
One credit is equivalent to 15 hours of 60 minutes of virtual classroom instruction and 30 hours of homework for reading, research, study time, and homework development.
Courses at STU generally involve three units of credit totaling 135 hours, divided into five weeks, corresponding to 27 hours of work per week (class + homework).
Curricula and Plans of Study
Each student’s study plan includes the compulsory activities mentioned in the preceding paragraph, any educational activities envisaged as optional, and independently chosen activities.
Credits acquired as a result of examinations that may have been successfully taken for teaching addition to those countable to complete the path leading to the degree, remain recorded in the student’s career and may give rise to subsequent recognition. Still, the evaluations obtained should be included in the calculation of the grade point average of the profit examinations.
The courses offered are numbered:
- Numbered less than 100 are preparatory courses and do not give credit.
- Numbered 100 to 299 are courses for first-year students, sophomores, or other introductory-level courses.
- Numbered 300 to 399 are junior or senior-level courses that require in-depth knowledge of the subject matter.
- Numbered 400 to 499 are senior-level courses.
- Numbered 500 to 900 refer to post-graduate level courses.
Course objectives, prerequisites, syllabi, requirements, and evaluation procedures will be clearly stated and made available to students in a written syllabus.
Students must meet all prerequisites before registering for a course.