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2021 GSSE Virtual Program

We are excited to be able to offer the 2021 GSSE to students who choose to participate in virtual format.  Below you will find FAQs and expectations for the 2021 program..

When does the virtual GSSE start and end?

The virtual GSSE program begins on May 30 and ends on June 26 just like the in-person GSSE program.

Where can I find out more about the courses I am taking?

Learn more about each course here. All students will take “STEM Skills” and “STEM in Society”. Get to know the faculty, TA’s, and RA’s on the staff page here.

When and how do I attend classes?

The students participating in the virtual GSSE will attend the same classes as the students who are attending in-person.  All GSSE students will attend STEM Skills and STEM in Society in the morning as well as an assigned afternoon class. It will be your responsibility to log into the Zoom link at your assigned class time. **All times listed are EDT, so be sure to adjust based on your time zone.  You will attend your class by ZOOM.  You will be enrolled in a CANVAS course and your professor will share ZOOM information as well as assignments and other important information through this site.  Be sure to check your UTK email for important messages regarding your classes.

Do I need to attend class every day?

Yes, just like the in-person students are required to attend class every day, you are also required to be logged into ZOOM on the appropriate days and times.  Missing class can result in incompletion or a reduced grade in the class.  Always communicate with your professor about any necessary absences.

How will I get my course materials?

Many of the course materials are available through the course CANVAS site.  Any additional materials will be shipped to your residence.  If you feel you are missing course materials, please email

Will my GSSE experience be the same as the in-person participants?

Our goal is to offer an equivalent experience for both our in-person and virtual GSSE cohorts.  While in class virtually, you may be working with students who are actually  in the classroom.  Other times you may be participating asynchronously.  Each faculty member has designed a program that fits for their course.  Virtual participation will look different for each class.  While we will make every effort to make the experience as similar as possible, there will be sometimes where virtual students will need to participate in slightly different ways than their in-person classmates.  We ask for your patience as we work through the challenges and opportunities of offering this program in a hybrid format.

Will I get to know the other GSSE Students?

Yes!  You will get to know the other students in your virtual cohort as well as students from the in-person GSSE.  The virtual cohort has its own CANVAS page where you can learn of virtual social activities and participate in group discussions with your cohort.  You also have your own dedicated Resident Assistant who will be planning activities just for you!  Be sure to join the CANVAS site for the virtual GSSE in order to receive all of the announcements from your RA.

Must I attend all of the activities even if I am virtual?

Once again, class attendance is mandatory.  Attendance to all virtual activities planned by your RA is also mandatory.  You will also be invited to attend activities that are designed for the in-person attendees.  You are always welcome to attend those social activities in virtual format if you wish to, but they will not be required.  We will be very clear on which activities you must attend.

Do I need to participate in GSSE on weekends as a virtual student?

If there is a virtual social activity that is planned just for you, you must attend, even on weekends.  The GSSE program runs for four weeks and includes weekends.  If there are no activities planned for the virtual cohort then you have free time.  Again, if you wish to participate virtually in any in-person activities on weekends, we will arrange for you to participate, but it is not required.

Do I have to be on my computer all day?

You must attend all class sessions and any virtual activities that are planned for you, including virtual lab tours.  That being said, there will be many times throughout the day when you can get away from your screen and take a break.

Do I need to have my own computer?

All virtual students are required to provide their own laptop or desktop device for virtual students (tablets and Chromebooks will not work) and will need reliable internet service. If you cannot provide your own laptop device or have concerns about internet service, please contact

What if I have computer or Internet problems?

If at any time you have computer or internet issues, you can contact OIT (Office of Information Technology) and someone will be able to assist you.  You can also email or call the PREP office at 865-974-9493 and we will try to assist, however the team at OIT is more prepared to help with technical issues.  Also try to let your professors know that you are having difficulty.


Social Media
We encourage students and parents to follow all three of our social media accounts. We will be updating frequently throughout the program.