SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — San Jose State University was busy as usual one day before COVID-19 emptied classrooms amid social distancing orders.

But now, going to college at SJSU has shifted online and will look like that in the foreseeable future. Distance learning is here to stay, says San Jose State Economics Chair Colleen Haight.

“What we predict is that students will be better equipped for the future because of the on-line experience,” Haight said.

Online classes utilize many of the tools most students and would be students are already using amid stay home orders. Transitioning to distance learning should be seamless for many students and will look good on their resumes.

“They are learning the skills in an online setting that you don’t get in an in-person class,” Haight said. “They will be better prepared for the global marketplace and for the possibility of working remotely in the future. They are learning skills like how to manage their time and how to self-supervise and that’s what employers will be looking for.”

Distance learning offers flexibility for those facing housing and transportation issues.

While no substitute for the social aspects of college life in and out of the classroom, distance learning offers a path to higher education that might otherwise have been closed to many people amid an uncertain economic future, says professor Haight.

“If I were a student facing the uncertainty that we have in front of us with COVID-19, I would invest in my education at this point,” she said.

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