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Published May 26, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Wyoming faculty members have assembled a bevy of short, online summer courses to serve the people of the state.
The enrichment courses range from college writing and resume preparation, to rebuilding the tourism economy, to business law, sustainability, marketing and ethics/leadership. Other courses include computer programming, data visualization and even identifying insects attracted to porchlights.
“Recognizing that many Wyomingites’ lives have been disrupted by the pandemic, we asked our faculty to come up with online classes to respond to the various needs, and they responded with some great online courses available to everyone,” says Anne Alexander, UW’s incoming interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Taught by some of our best professors and instructors, these courses will appeal to a variety of people -- including those whose work lives have been disrupted by the pandemic, adults interested in picking up new skills, and current college and high school students.”
The courses are inexpensive, with tuition as low as $50 per class. A few begin this week; others start in June or later. To see the complete list and for information on how to register, go to www.uwyo.edu/registrar/class_schedules/summer2020/summer-short-courses.html.
Two courses are being offered to help people prepare professional-grade resumes, cover letters and other employment materials. There also is an introductory course on the Python computer language and an intermediate Excel class.
Businesspeople impacted by COVID-19 will benefit from courses on marketing local business, business sustainability, ethics/leadership and business law, among others. Stock cycles, economic indicators and computational economics are the topics of other business-related courses.
Students in the “Rebuilding Tourism -- Recovering the Visitor Economy” course will examine how tourism economies have recovered after major disasters at the local, state, national and global scales -- and develop a set of best practices for post-disaster tourism recovery.
The “Porchlight Entomology” course is based on a citizen science program in which moths that come to porchlights can be identified online from cellphone photos.
A course on “Wyoming’s Future” will focus on the state’s marketplace future and the need for innovation and entrepreneurship, highlighting past “marketplace heroes” including Buffalo Bill Cody, Chris LeDoux, W. Edwards Deming, Jerry Buss and Todd Skinner.
Students in “Sports & the Virus” will investigate the current and potential future landscape for professional and college sports as well as mega-events such as the Olympics.
“The university’s people have had a big part in the state’s pandemic response, from helping the state public health lab with testing, to producing personal protective equipment, to conducting surveys and research to guide policymakers,” Alexander says. “In addition to those service and research components, our primary duty is to provide accessible education to the people of Wyoming, and these short courses are essentially an emergency educational response to a rapidly evolving crisis.”