Distance Education

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As more students try to earn an education while also making a living, ACC strives to offer as much online learning as possible to meet the demand.

Today ACC offers 186 courses and five Associate Degree programs taught entirely online. “More than 1,600 students are taking classes online, making up nearly a third of the college’s enrollment,” said Dena Coots, ACC Distance Education director.

“Online classes really address the needs of non-traditional students,” she said. “We are fitting the demand for students who cannot come here for face-to-face instruction.”

The Associate Degree programs that can be earned entirely online include General Studies, Psychology, Associate of Arts, Sociology and Management Development.

Business Management student Ryan Sepulvado chose to participate in the online program. She has earned more than 30 hours of credit.

“I’m training to be a manager at my current position,” she said. “I decided that was the route I wanted to go.”

“Students like Ryan make the Distance Education program at ACC such a success,” Coots said.

Enrollment in online classes has doubled at ACC since 2007 and the college is higher than the state and national averages for online students at community colleges, according to a Department of Education study.

“Students who are looking for a new career benefit most from online courses,” Coots said.

“They can continue to work while pursuing their education interests,” she said.

Ryan is working in a full-time management position in the banking industry while she attends classes. If classes were not available online, she might not have been able to finish the program.

Ryan hopes to use her skills for another role she is planning for her future.

Are Online Classes for You?

1. Feeling that I am part of a physical classroom setting is:

a. very necessary.

b. somewhat important.

c. very important.

2. I generally:

a. get things done ahead of time.

b. need reminders, but get things done on time.

c. put things off until the last minute.

3. I prefer to communicate:

a. in writing.

b. in person, but I’m comfortable expressing myself in writing.

c. in person, face-to-face. I do not like to write.

4. I would classify myself as:

a. a good reader, able to understand most text material without help.

b. an average reader. Sometimes I need help understanding the material.

c. a slow reader. I often need help understanding text material.

5. I think face-to-face classroom discussion:

a is helpful, but discussion via email is equally engaging.

b. is sometimes helpful.

c. is vital.

6. I generally prefer to:

a. figure out instructions myself.

b. try to follow instructions on my own, then ask for help as needed.

c. have instructions explained or demonstrated to me.

7. When faced with new technology such as gadgets and computer software I usually:

a. look forward to learning new skills.

b. feel some apprehension, but try it anyway.

c. avoid working with new technology.

8. Taking into account my professional and personal schedule, I have:

a. less time for an online course than an on-campus course.

b. about the same amount of time for an online course as an
on-campus class.

c. maybe even more time for an online course than an on-campus one since I don’t have to commute.

9. If I have to go to campus to take exams or complete
work I:

a. would have difficulty going to campus at any time.

b. will need to make an evening or weekend appointment.

c. can make arrangements to do so almost anytime.



One point for each “a” answer.

Two points for each “b” answer.

Three points for each “c” answer.

21 or more points: An online course would probably be a good fit for you.

15 to 20 points: An online course could work for you, but you should be prepared to make a few adjustments in your schedule and study habits to succeed. A hybrid course may be a good first step.

14 or fewer points: An online course is probably not the best way for you to learn right now. Your chance for success would be better if you enrolled in a traditional on-campus course.

“Someday I want to start my own business and these skills will help me achieve that,” she said. “The business management program really relates to you and how you do your job.”

To learn more about the online courses and programs at ACC, visit www.alvincollege.edu/DistanceEducation.aspx

For a more in-depth survey about online readiness, alvin.readi.info/

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