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The Coronavirus outbreak has forced people and organizations alike to adapt to a new normal, adopting new practices into their daily lives and business operations. Organizations enabled employees to work from home while students began learning solely in virtual settings. This dramatic shift has underscored the challenges of working and learning online but has presented opportunities for creative solutions.
In early March, Hallmark University was one of the thousands of institutions that moved courses online as the Coronavirus spread throughout the US. News headlines nationwide described the shortcomings of higher education in this virtual age, while students at Hallmark University experienced something different.
Students whose programs moved online found classes already prepared for online delivery and Hallmark continued to offer personal development programs such as Biblical Leadership for Excellence (BLE). Bringing programs like BLE online gives students the opportunity for personal growth and connections, providing an avenue of relief from the burdens of one’s own life while they continue their education online.
“With so many stresses pushing on them now, many people have started to think about their purpose in life,” says Douglas Heintz, Director of Institutional Character and Ethics. “BLE gets people to look at their lives and understand how they have invested in themselves and others and how they can use it to change their lives according to God’s word.”
Having already designed courses and programs to be delivered virtually before the pandemic hit, students at Hallmark continued their classes with a renewed sense of devotion to their education. One recent Hallmark alumna, Charice Grier, has stood out to her instructors and fellow students for the incredible effort and work she put into her education, all for her family.
“I wanted my son to have a better life,” says Charice. “I left behind my life in Philadelphia, and my sister told me to come to San Antonio. When I got here, I wasn't sure what was going to happen next. I spent 15 years in the medical field, and I couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted to change my career, but I didn’t know where to go.”
Charice promised her son that whatever she chose to do, she would see it through and give him a better life. She joined Hallmark University’s College of Aeronautics in 2018 to begin her career as an Aircraft Technician.
“The promise I made to my son pushed me while I was in school. I look back at all the honors and certificates I got while at Hallmark, and it puts a smile on my face. I didn’t have a great support system while going to school, and succeeding despite everything that I endured makes me feel proud. I changed my life by joining Hallmark. It gave me job security so I can go anywhere in life and it can’t be taken from me. As long as there are planes in the air, I have a job and can give my family the life they deserve.”
Graduates of Hallmark University have shared similar life-changing stories, whether it be through earning an education or the connections they build in school. Providing these opportunities to students during the Coronavirus pandemic is a high priority for the institution, whose instructors have worked around the clock to support students who are experiencing stresses in their lives right now.
“I make sure that everyone is having fun,” shared Kristen Sinclair, an instructor at Hallmark University. “It’s a very open environment where everyone has discussions, and they get to share their personal experiences. There’s an energy that you pick up on and rally your students behind to get them engaged in the class even though we haven’t been in the classroom in a few months. It’s been a lot of work, but my students are doing great in their classes, and I think we are making this work.”
Instructors like Kristen have found their unique approaches to make virtual classes work for their students. Due to the faculty's dedication to their profession, Hallmark University hit its highest retention levels in the past five years, even amid an ongoing pandemic.
The immense effort behind the scenes at Hallmark University has made education worth it for students, even with the challenges we experience today. More institutions around the US worry about how to deliver in their roles as educators. However, students like Charice can continue to change their lives due to the people and opportunities at Hallmark University.
Hallmark University is a nonprofit institution of higher education in San Antonio, Texas. The support from the community to students through scholarship donations and messages of encouragement help those that continue their education with the school.
If you are ready to discover your passion, or connect your passion to purpose, be sure to visit Hallmark University before making your final decision on a higher education.
10401 Interstate-10 West SAT 78230
College of Aeronautics:
8901 Wetmore Road, SAT 78216
Pray. Ask God to send revelation and guidance as Hallmark University continues serving San Antonio’s career needs and looks to what’s on the horizon. Support. You have the opportunity to help support and provide an education to disadvantaged students including abuse victims who otherwise may never go to college. Donate to Hallmark University: www.hallmarkuniversity.edu/about/advancement/