Remote and Online Education Offer Special Immunity

The News Magazine of HCU

When HBU began its Pampell Online Division in 2017, University leaders could not have foreseen that the Blackboard platform would be a godsend to traditional instruction nearly three years later, when residential classes would be abruptly moved to remote delivery. Effective March 23, 2020, almost 800 HBU residential classes were transferred to a remote format following the coronavirus crisis.

Traditional students joined the more than 1,000 HBU Online students who were already utilizing a flexible method of learning. While remote delivery of residential courses differs from a traditionally online class, many of the tools HBU has used regularly proved valuable.

In a March video message to the HBU family, HBU President Robert Sloan said, “Providentially, it’s very obvious the Lord has been taking care of us. If it were not for (starting the Pinky Pampell Online Division), we would be facing even greater challenges.”

Dr. Robert B. Sloan
Dr. Robert Sloan

With experience in online instruction and assessment, the University was able to continue meeting the needs of nearly 3,000 residential students, keeping them on track with their studies. HBU was among colleges and universities nationally and worldwide that pivoted quickly. According to a survey cited by Inside Higher Ed, “the vast majority of institutions (90 percent) engaged in some form of emergency/virtual education to conduct or complete the spring term; those that did not were typically colleges that already were exclusively online, or in the few areas in the country where shelter-in-place orders were not in force” (1).

Dr. Steve Peterson, HBU VP for Online/Digital Learning, said, “I think with three years as an institution under our belt, it flowed into online delivery and student service.”

When the decision was made to offer all courses for Summer 2020 exclusively online and remotely, departments across the board, and Undergraduate, Graduate, and Online Admissions, worked together again.

Dr. Steve Peterson

“Our service to students wasn’t diminished, and we remained in 100 percent operation,” Peterson said.

According to the Center for Online Education, in a regular semester, about one-third of college students take at least one online course each semester, making flexible options a viable chioce for many learners (2). Many jobs have remote/flexible completion processes, particularly since the COVID-19 challenge began. Because college prepares students for life and the workforce, embracing flexibility and technology has many positives and practical applications for both learners and higher education as a whole.


  1. Lederman, Doug. (2020, April 22). “How Teaching Changed in the (Forced) Shift to Remote Learning.” Inside Higher Ed.
  2. “Online College Students by the Numbers.” Center for Online Education.


Regular HBU 100% Online Courses

Undergraduate: 8 Programs

Graduate: 16 Programs

Doctoral: 2 Programs


All HBU Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Undergraduate: 71 Programs

Master’s: 37 Programs

Doctoral: 3 Programs

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