Internet-based courses are NOT briefer versions of classroom instruction. To be successful, online students need certain skills (familiarity with using email, browsers, word processors) and a high degree of discipline and motivation. Other characteristics that favor success in online courses are that the student:
- Realizes that online courses require AT LEAST as much time and study as on-campus courses. Successful online students typically report spending more time, not less, than in regular courses.
- Is a reader with good comprehension skills. Instructor directions are generally in written form without face-to-face or verbal communication.
- Does not require interaction with other students and instructors to grasp materials.
- Is not afraid of new technology and utilizes the computer well as a tool.
- Has experience using the internet, searching for references and browsing.
- Is organized in submitting coursework with proper labeling.
- First time students must prove computer competency.
NPC has implemented a program to improve student learning in internet-based classes. Students enrolled in an NPC internet class for the first time are required to demonstrate or develop basic skills necessary for online learning. You need to complete the Online Readiness Course by the end of the first week of class. You may be restricted from registering for additional online courses if you do not complete the course. Visit https://sites.google.com/mail.npc.edu/itcs/eresources/readiness for more information about the procedure and requirements.(POS 221 & 222 are exempt. These are considered Open Entry. The student must complete the course within one (1) year of the date they registered for the course.)
Prerequisites (required courses that must be taken before you can register for a specific class) are listed under the course code in the class schedule search and in the college catalog. Not all classes have prerequisites.
- Students are expected to complete ALL coursework within the actual semester.
You can find semester-end dates on the academic calendar. An incomplete grade may be given to support student success when extenuating circumstances exist (but not to delay a final grade when a student is performing poorly). To award an incomplete grade of ‘I,’ the student must be passing the course with at least a ‘C’ or otherwise demonstrate satisfactory performance as determined by the instructor. A student receiving an incomplete grade has the responsibility of completing all work as outlined in an Incomplete Grade Agreement for removal of the incomplete grade. Once all work is completed and graded, the instructor will submit a Change of Grade form with a copy of the Incomplete Grade Agreement. If an incomplete is not removed within one semester (Fall or Spring) from the end of the semester in which it was awarded, it is automatically converted to a grade of ‘F.’
- Enrollment Exception: Some courses, such as Political Science (POS) 221 & 222, do NOT follow the time limits on enrollment. These courses are "open-entry," which means that students may enroll at anytime without instructor approval BUT should finish the course work by the end of the semester. Always check the Beginning and Ending Dates column in the online Class Schedule to ensure you register for the right section.
- You can complete your coursework early.
A grade may by submitted by the instructor showing the student has completed the course before the semester end date.
Is there a difference in tuition cost for online courses?
No. Online courses are charged the same tuition rate as live classes. View NPC's current tuition rates. Some online classes may have an additional course fee which is listed in the Class Schedule Search, as well as an additional fee for the use of electronic textbooks which is charged when you first login to your online course, but not all classes have them. Students who take 3 or more credits are also charged a college media fee.
If I decide to withdraw from the class, can I get a refund?
Online courses have the following policy for refunds:
- To receive a 100 percent refund for an Internet-based course, a student must officially drop the class within one week of registration and not have initiated any of the coursework.
- A 50 percent refund is provided if a student drops the class within two weeks of registration and has not initiated any of the coursework.
Students should complete a Course Change Form at an NPC campus or center. Students out of the NPC service area can contact the Records and Registration - Admissions Office to request a form and instructions for returning the signed request. To avoid a 'W' (grade of withdrawal) on your transcript, be sure to complete the form prior to the second week of the semester. See the Academic Calendar for current deadline dates. Remember that withdrawing from a class may affect your financial aid eligibility. If this applies to you, contact the NPC Financial Aid Office. Refunds are processed by the NPC Business Office, and checks are mailed.
Questions Please contact the Records & Registration - Admissions Office at (928) 524-7459. | email
What are the basic computer and software requirements for online classes?
NPC recommends the following:
- An IBM compatible computer running Windows 7 or later, or a Macintosh running OS 10.x or later. (Other operating systems are not actively supported, but may work). 128 Mb of RAM in your machine will work, but slowly. Many newer machines have 512 Mb or more, and more equals faster. Similarly, a 133 MHz CPU will probably be sufficient, but it will not be quick.
- A sound card and speakers (a microphone may be needed for some courses).
- A color monitor capable of displaying a minimum of: 256 colors (16 bit preferred) @ 800 x 600 resolution.
- Access to the internet. Be sure to ask your ISP if they offer a student discount. Also, a minimum 28.8 Kbs modem (56Kbs preferred) or DSL/Cable/Satellite ("broadband") connection.
- An email program/account that can send and receive attachments.
- Course-specific software, such as Microsoft Office, Access, or QuickBooks. Your course syllabus will indicate specifics.
- Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, GoogleDocs or Open Office. Your instructor may require assignments to be turned in using a particular format (such as .docx), and not many will be able to read 'Microsoft Works' files.
- Add your instructor's email address to your address book so emails will be accepted.
- Anti-virus software, such as Norton, McAfee or Sophos, is a practical necessity in the current online environment. Set it to automatically scan messages, and be sure to check it regularly for updated virus definitions. Anyone spending serious time online should also educate themselves (at least a little!) on firewalls and anti-spyware.
- Moodle, the Learning Management System (LMS) used for most NPC Internet-based courses, has a browser plug-in that provides a 'browser tune-up' and compatibility check.
Some courses may require additional browser plug-ins to use, display or print various multimedia files. These are generally free and install quickly on your computer. When downloading, be sure to select the file for your specific operating system and browser. This may mean multiple downloads to keep different browsers supported.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader lets you read and print files saved in the PDF format.
- Shockwave Player lets you view Shockwave and Flash animations used on many educational sites.
- There are a variety of free audio and video players available online, each necessary for playing specific kinds of files (though some will play more than one). See, for example, VLC Media Player.
Many software providers, including Microsoft and Adobe, offer discounted Academic/Educational Versions to students. Search online for the best prices and be sure to ask about student discounts that may not be published on their website.
Please note that while NPC library and lab computers provide internet access, these computers may not contain all of the software or services required for a specific Internet-based course.
Will I need a textbook or other course materials?
Textbook requirements vary by course. The syllabus will list all texts, lab kits or software needed for the course. In some cases, texts for online internet-based courses are different than those used in on-site classes. These materials can be ordered through the NPC Online Bookstore. You can use any source to purchase textbooks, but be sure to check the return policy in case you decide to withdraw from the course. The ISBN for textbooks is listed in the Class Schedule after clicking the specific course code.
Digital textbooks may require the use of a CD/DVD or have recommended computer specifications to operate their textbook.
Please note that while NPC library and lab computers provide internet access, these computers may not contain all of the software or services required for a specific internet-based course.
How will I communicate with my instructor and other students?
The majority of communication will be via email. It is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor after enrolling in a course. Find your class and instructor in the main Class Schedule. Click on the course title link, then the next to the instructor's name to get their email address. The course syllabus will also list the instructor's office hours and phone numbers if you need to leave a voice message.
Some courses may also use threaded discussions or chat rooms. If so, instructions will be included in the course syllabus.
How will I take quizzes or exams?
Some instructors use quizzes or exams, while others use other means of assessment. Refer to your syllabus. If your course requires on-site testing and you live outside of the NPC service area, contact your instructor to arrange for proctored testing.
What do I do if I need a transcript?
Follow the instructions on the Records and Registration - Admissions page. No transcript of a student's record will be released until all financial obligations to the college have been satisfied. Please allow one week for processing transcript requests. If grades from an online internet-based course are needed immediately for a transcript, please inform your instructor that grades need to be posted as quickly as possible.
Questions Please contact Internet Registration at (928) 524-7459. | email
Northland Pioneer College has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.