Online class questions answered

Anthony Silio, Reporter

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ACC offers online courses as an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar class options. While prices seem higher, they are, in fact, justified and not entirely unreasonable.

ACC’s online offerings are, in large part, thanks to its membership with the Colorado Community College System. This partnership allows students to take online classes that are offered at ACC, as well as classes that are not, but offered through CCCOnline.

The common misconception about these online classes is that ACC sets the prices, but these prices are actually set by the Colorado Community College System Office. On the CCCOnline website, the Spring 2016 tuition is listed as $305.65 per in-state credit and $351.65 per out-of-state credit. The ACC Tuition page prices are identical: they list online per credit price of $305.65 for instate and $351.65 for out of state tuition. These prices are also the same for both Red Rocks Community College and Front Range Community College.

Online classes, though CCCOnline, are beneficiaries of the College Opportunity Fund just as in-person classes are. In fact, with the College Opportunity Fund, the students share of the per credit tuition is $75 less for a total of only $230.65. This deduction in price is only applied if you have authorized your COF Stipend.

ACC does apply a $22.60 fixed fee, but that is the same fixed fee applied to all credits achieved at ACC regardless of the learning environment. As students look at their itemized student finance page they may see a discrepancy between their online and in-person classes, and that accounts for the student’s access to the CCCOnline Learning Management System.

ACC students have access to Desire2Learn’s Brightspace which, according to Market Wired is the top Learning Management System in terms of innovation and accessibility. When online students access D2L they are not accessing ACC’s D2L they are accessing CCCOnline’s D2L. While they seem similar and, for the most part, are the same system, ACC offers their Learning Management System at very little cost to the student.

Students worried about the transferability of their online credits need fear not, for CCCOnline classes are accredited by the same Higher Learning Commission that accredits in-person classes. The schools themselves decide on all credits whether or not they will accept them as transfer credits, but the fact that the credit was achieved through an online class does not affect that decision process.
Online classes are inherently different from in-person classes mostly in part due to the self-motivation factor students must apply. Online classes are at your own pace. While professors do set due dates for assignments and time frames for discussion posts, a majority of the input are dependent on the student. ACC offers several resources to get you ready to be an online student, including class management and motivation tips.

Students who want more information regarding online options to achieve their required course work, or to see if online options are right for them, should contact their student advisor. ACC offers D2L training through their eLearning Department and offers other printable quick start resources for getting started with D2L. ACC has a 24/7 helpdesk (1.888.800.9198) for D2L assistance and furthermore CCCOnline has a helpdesk website of their own.

ACC students should not be intimidated by online classes, where they are marginally more expensive, they are equally more efficient for a busy individual to achieve a higher education.

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