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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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April 15, 2024
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Knox offers “Fifth Year for Free”

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(From left to right) President Teresa Amott, Provost Michael Schneider,  Chief Information Officer Steve Hall, and Vice President of Enrollment Paul Steenis sit together at a Student Senate town hall .(TKS Archives)

(From left to right) President Teresa Amott, Provost Michael Schneider, Chief Information Officer Steve Hall, and Vice President of Enrollment Paul Steenis sit together at a Student Senate town hall .(TKS Archives)

Over the summer, it was announced that Knox would launch the “Fifth Year for Free” Guarantee which would enable students to do exactly that — return to school for a fifth year to complete what they were unable to because of the pandemic. Now that students are back on campus and are thinking about more serious plans for the future, it is worth explaining how it is going to work. 

 Paul Steenis, Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admission, explained that the idea for the guarantee came about as a response to the feeling of uncertainty that everyone felt in the spring. 

 “We were all a little bit uncertain as to how this school year would unfold.” Steenis said.

 In the spring, it was unknown how long the pandemic would last, and how large of a threat it would continue to be. When classes were announced to go online for all of April and later on the rest of the term, plans for the future looked far more bleak. As a result, Knox staff sought out a plan for the students who had their plans severely disrupted due to the coronavirus.

 “If students were wanting to remain enrolled either on campus or remotely or however they were going to take their classes, we wanted to say ‘go ahead and remain enrolled, if the experience doesn’t turn out to be exactly what you would have hoped for or expected,” Steenis said, “That we’ll go ahead and we’ll offer to have you come back for an additional term, or two or up to a full year so you can in fact engage in those sorts of experiences that you didn’t feel you were able to fully participate in this year.”

 As with any program, there are eligibility requirements to meet. Students must have completed four years of school to participate, whether or not they were at Knox for the entirety of undergrad. Students must also have remaining graduation requirements that won’t be completed by the time they would normally graduate. 

 There are a variety of students that may find this to be a viable option for them. Steenis references several possible scenarios. Some of these include students who were not able to participate in an internship or study abroad, students who wanted to pursue research or who decided to switch majors and have classes they still need to take. 

 “It won’t necessarily be the right thing for everyone but for some students it might make a lot of sense.” Steenis said.

 In order to enroll, students will continue to work closely with their academic advisor on their graduation status and if the fifth year would be suitable for them. From then on, proper arrangements would be made with the school to participate in the program. 

 The guarantee will become available for this year’s class of 2021, and will follow suit for the rest of the classes currently attending. As a result, students from different class years will be able to participate over the course of the following three years.

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