Virtual College Frequently Asked Questions | Northcentral Technical College
Virtual College

Virtual College

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Virtual College (VC) different than a regular online class?

Virtual College is our most flexible option. It is a self-structured environment where you can start anytime within the first 10 weeks of the semester. There are two dates you need to keep in mind, within one week of your start date you must complete at least one assignment and all assignments must be complete before the end of the semester. This means that whether you start on week 1 or week 5, you still only have until the final day of the semester to get all work submitted. Other than the first week and the final date of the semester, there are no set due dates for learning plans within Virtual College courses. This is a very self-structured environment.

Please Note: Most of the programs available in Virtual College are also available in traditional online formats, which are still completely online and flexible. The traditional online options just have more structured schedules as far as start dates and due dates for each learning activity/learning plan. In some cases students find the extreme flexibility of Virtual College overwhelming because they are not comfortable with creating and sticking to their own schedule.

Can I take just one Virtual College course?

In most cases, no. Students who have been accepted to Virtual College have completed some additional admissions steps, including additional testing and an admissions interview. These candidates are screened in order to be sure they can succeed in this extremely flexible learning format. Also, students who are taking classes in a more traditional format, even online, may find that it is difficult to take classes in two different delivery styles at one time.

Please Note: Some courses within Virtual College are Continuing Education or professional development courses and can be taken without being a part of a program and one at a time. Please contact the Virtual College staff to find out if the course you are looking for fits into this category.

How can I know if Virtual College is the right fit for me?

We have found that students who are most successful in Virtual College have more than just a need for flexibility. Those who are most successful are self-starters, who manage their time well, set goals for themselves and follow through on commitments, without a lot of supervision. Although the courses are instructor led and help is always available, independent problem solving and the ability to work well alone are also important traits. Finally, Virtual College students must have a good grasp of current technologies and feel confident in learning on the computer. Some important basic skills include, sending and receiving emails, including attachments, taking a screen shot, uploading videos to YouTube, downloading needed software on your computer and comfort in communicating online.

Can I receive Financial Aid?

Virtual College students interested in receiving financial aid must be accepted into a NTC program or listed as pre-program for an associate degree or technical diploma. In addition, they must take a minimum of 6 associate degree level credits per semester to receive loans, 3 for grants. To get the process started please fill out your FAFSA.

Can students take classes in VC and in-person?

Students who enroll in Virtual College are expected to complete their program entirely in the Virtual College format. Also, only Virtual College accepted students are able to register for Virtual College courses. Because of the extreme flexibility of Virtual College and the type of learning format, students may find it very difficult to switch back and forth from one format to another.

Since this is an open entry start, are the classes self-paced?

Courses are instructor-led, but the students are self-paced within their learning modules. Although open entry, the courses are not open exit. All class work must be submitted no later than the final date of the semester. Also, students are required to complete the first academic assignment within one week of their start date.

How are the classes being delivered?

Courses will be delivered through Canvas with other innovative technologies and presentation and video software. Discussion boards are used to allow for student to student and student to instructor interaction. Students may be asked to submit assignments using attachments, emails or video uploads.

Can I receive accommodations? How?

Yes. Just as students are able to receive accommodations for NTC online courses, students can also receive accommodations for Virtual College Courses. In addition, Virtual College staff has selected technology and platforms that include services for the hearing and visually impaired. Students may contact their advisor for assistance in getting set up with the appropriate resources and NTC referrals. For more information please visit the website for our Disability and Testing Services.

How do I get my books?

Books can be purchased at the NTC Campus Store. Students should visit campusstore.ntc.edu to find which books they need for each class. Many of the textbooks used for Virtual College courses also have an ebook option if the student would prefer that. For more information on books please visit campusstore.ntc.edu or call 715.803.1154.

If I need to meet physically with the instructor, is this still possible?

Faculty members are prepared to meet with Virtual College students face-to-face through Skype, Adobe Connect or HD conferencing. If a student would like to meet with their instructor face-to-face, they may contact the faculty directly to arrange a time during office hours.

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