Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
This list of questions that potential students may want to pose to distance learning providers is reproduced with permission from Quality Issues in Distance Learning published in 1999 by AACSB - The International Association for Management Education.
Does an established and respected accreditation body accredit the institution or program?
The regional accounting body Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits California State University, Chico. This includes online degree programs. WASC is one of six regional associations that accredit public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the United States.
What are the age, experience, academic qualifications, skills, or knowledge prerequisites?
Chico offers several programs online. Please check the information page for the program in which you are interested. All current programs are listed in the box to the right.
Are there any language prerequisites for international students?
International applicants interested in distance education must meet the TOEFL requirement and demonstrate proof of adequate financial resources. Information regarding current TOEFL requirements can be found at the International Student Services website.
What is the online registration process?
We have created step-by-step registration process instructions. Distance education students interested in registering for an online course must follow the procedures outlined at Course Registration Procedures (continuing state-support), Course Registration Procedures (re-admit state-support students) or Open University (students who have not been admitted to the university, or who have been denied admission or disqualified, to enroll in state-support courses).
STRUCTURE AND DELIVERY
Is the program lock-step (fixed curriculum and set cohort with a prescribed course progression)?
Degree programs vary but most programs allow new students to enter at the start of each semester. You should discuss your academic plan with your advisor.
Are there opportunities for electives?
Yes, electives are available in some degree programs.
Are there opportunities to exit and re-enter the program?
Students who temporarily need to exit the program can apply for a Planned Educational Leave (PEL). Courses are offered on a rotating cycle.
Students who were previously admitted to CSU, Chico but did not register for the previous semester need to complete another University application to be readmitted. This does not apply to undergraduate students who were on a Planned Educational Leave (PEL). Once the application has been processed by either Admissions or the Graduate School, and the student is officially readmitted, the student can then use the portal to register.
Is the program designed and delivered by regular faculty members of the institution?
CSU, Chico’s online courses are created by CSU, Chico professors with the assistance of instructional designers and the support of the entire institution.
What is the availability of academic support services, such as counseling, advising, tutoring, and placement?
Many academic support services are available online or are a telephone call away. Please see our Student Support Services page for a complete listing. In addition, we have recorded on-campus workshops on such topics as time management, test preparation, and study skills. These recordings include streaming video of the speaker(s) and PowerPoint slides, and can be accessed here, 24/7.
Is there some form of help-desk/help-line facility available to distance learners?
Technical support from IT Support Services (ITSS) is available by telephone at (530) 898-4357. You can also contact us by email: email@example.com.
What access to library materials and databases is provided by CSU, Chico?
Distance and Online students have the same full access to ONLINE library resources as students on campus do. For instructions on how to set up your computer to access these resources, visit the library’s web page “For Off Campus Users”.
For books and journal articles, students who are eligible may request materials not available in their area from CSU, Chico. For eligiblity requirements and instructions, see the web page on requesting materials.
Is all required software provided?
Many of the required Web browser plug-ins are free. The computer will also need to have word processing, a Web browser and email software.
What performance expectations are placed upon students concerning deadlines for assessment, study time requirements, and active participation?
Off-campus students are expected to meet the same academic requirements as on-campus students. It is important to note online students are expected to keep up with the course on a weekly basis starting with the first week of the semester.
When, where, and how do student-to-student and student-to-faculty interactions occur?
Most online courses are designed to accommodate a student’s busy schedule. Students are expected to complete weekly assignments and take tests as scheduled. Class sessions can be either synchronous or asynchronous or a combination of both. Individual professors decide how their course will be delivered. Communication between students and faculty can occur during the live class session in a discussion window and outside of class via email, threaded discussion groups, and by telephone.
What is the mix between face-to-face and electronic interaction?
Very few of the courses listed here require students to meet in person or face-to-face with an instructor. Courses requiring face-to-face meetings are noted in the course description. Many courses utilize audio and videostreaming class lectures. Some students report this is very similar to attending the class live in person.
How long does it take to complete the program?
It depends upon which program you decide to complete. Certificates can be completed in two years or less. Degree completion programs can take as much as four years or more to complete. It really depends on how many courses you take each semester.
Is there a time limit to complete the program?
There is currently no time limit on completing an undergraduate program. Please refer to the Election of Graduation Requirements And Your Catalog Rights in the University Catalog.
What prior technical competencies are needed?
A good working knowledge of your computer and its software is essential to your success in this program. Before enrolling in a CSU, Chico online course you need to verify that you have loaded the necessary plug-ins for your Web browser.
What is the expected payment schedule?
Once you are admitted to the University and have selected your courses, you will be expected to pay your fees by the University deadline. The deadline to pay fees varies from semester to semester. The current deadline can be found here.
What is the school’s policy for reimbursement of fees upon withdrawal?
See the University’s refund policy.
What is the availability of financial aid/scholarships?
Financial aid is available for our degree programs.
UNIVERSITY’S EXPERIENCE IN DISTANCE LEARNING
How much experience does the University have in offering distance learning programs?
California State University, Chico has been offering distance education courses for 37 years: first via ITFS microwave link, then via satellite, and now online. Educational institutions from around the world have used our program as a model. Our first online course was offered in 1993.
I have heard courses offered via distance education are easy, is that true?
Courses offered at CSU, Chico through distance education are equivalent to courses offered on campus. Distance education students are expected to complete the same course work as on-campus students.
I would prefer to speak by telephone to someone concerning distance education at CSU, Chico.
The Center for Regional and Continuing Education provides administrative support for Chico Distance & Online Education. Our staff is available Monday - Friday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (Pacific Time). Our telephone number is 530-898-6105.
What qualities does it take to be successful in a distance education course?
Persistence and self-motivation. Of course there are many other factors involved. Check out our “Keys to Succeeding as an Online Student ” section for useful tips on making the most of your online degree program.
I formerly attended CSU, Chico. Can I complete my degree through distance education?
It depends on your previous degree program and the amount of time since you last completed course work at Chico. Contact the academic advisor in the major in which you are interested.
What are the admission requirements?
Admission requirements for the distance education programs are exactly the same as they are for on-campus students. Check the Office of Admissions website for details.
Can I transfer completed units at CSU, Chico to another institution?
In most situations, transferring CSU, Chico units to another institution is not a problem. Before you enroll, we strongly suggest checking with your adviser at your home campus to confirm that the course(s) will apply to your degree.
Can I enroll in a course without being admitted to the University?
Yes, on a space-available basis, with faculty permission. Students may enroll through Open University.
What steps must I take to be admitted to the University?
Details are provided at the New Student Admission and Registration Information web page.
Can I enroll in a course at any time?
Online courses follow the University Calendar. Chico does not utilize revolving enrollment.
When do classes start?
Online courses follow the regular University Schedule.