Adam Hrincevich, PhD teaches online undergraduate courses at Logan in addition to teaching nearly 750 students a semester at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge. It can be difficult to build relationships with online students, but Dr. Hrincevich plans to draw on his experiences offering students a “humanitarian bonus” at LSU to similarly engage his students at Logan.
The idea for humanitarian bonuses came after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.
“Usually, students participate in volunteer activities or humanitarian efforts in addition to their academics,” he said. After Katrina hit, a student asked about hosting a clothing drive for a homeless shelter. Seeing an opportunity to tie academics to philanthropy, humanitarian bonuses were born.
At the end of each semester, students can earn a humanitarian bonus (an extra point on their final exam outside of any academic bonus or curve) if they complete an act of service for the community or area non-profit. Help can range from donating blood to the American Red Cross to donating items to animal rescue agencies. Student response has been tremendous.
“It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” he said. “Students go above and beyond, not just to get an extra point on their exam, but also because they are excited to help. It’s something that everyone can participate in on some level.” The initiative is so successful that the American Red Cross typically contacts him about having students participate each semester.
Dr. Hrincevich hopes to bring humanitarian bonuses to online students at Logan so they too can experience the benefits. “It’s common to feel isolated taking an online course. Integrating these bonuses would give students a sense of community and purpose.”