Meridian offers its programs in two formats: onsite and online. These two learning formats support the transformative learning intent of the curriculum while providing adult learners, who have significant commitments to family and/or employment, the opportunity to complete their coursework within a reasonable time frame.
Learning together within a cohort model in both formats offers students:
- The opportunity to sustain one's focus on learning and developing relationships within the learning community.
- The opportunity to give and receive the support and nurturance necessary for the effective development and deepening of a transformative learning community.
In the onsite learning format, classes are held in-person with some coursework including an online component. Students who choose the onsite learning format meet in residence for one weekend per month during the Fall and Spring quarters (Fridays through Sundays, for six weekends per year). Additionally, students meet for one-week sessions during each of the Winter and Summer quarters.
The online learning format enables students to complete their degrees at Meridian through distance education. Students can combine online courses, video-conferencing, and optional residential sessions as appropriate based on their individual circumstances, location, degree program, and program concentration.
Online coursework is primarily conducted asynchronously, providing students the opportunity to participate in collaborative learning with faculty and fellow students during times that are convenient for personal schedules. Faculty do encourage their online classes to meet synchronously (virtually, but in real-time), so as to have real-time contact with all cohort members in between the two week-long in-person class meetings; however, while this is encouraged, it is not required. At times students are asked to meet in virtual small groups at mutually convenient times. Meridian faculty and staff collaborate to provide an online learning experience for students that invites new and unexpected meanings to emerge.
Faculty respond to students’ work (weekly lessons, projects, or doctoral project submittals) within two to 30 working days, depending on the nature of the assignment. An average of 16 quarter credits of online learning are completed through online coursework annually.