Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does online courses work?
Online courses at St. Charles Community College are taught by engaged and engaging instructors trained in online course design and delivery and are delivered through the Canvas learning management system. Using Canvas, you can connect with your instructor and peers, watch videos, review lessons, participate in discussions, take quizzes and exams, complete assignments, receive feedback, and more. Online courses are equivalent to face-to-face courses in rigor and time commitment but allow you the flexibility to work on coursework on your schedule. Although online courses offer flexibility, this does not mean they are self-paced. There will be due dates and deadlines that will still need to be followed, and you should budget, on average, 9-12 hours a week for each 3-credit course you are taking in a full semester. If you take a course in a shortened time frame (for example a summer or an 8-week course), this time commitment multiples as you cover the same amount of material.
Do online classes require me to come to campus?
Some classes may require you to take a proctored exam or attend an orientation. This information is provided when you register for a course and can be seen in SCC Connection.
What technology do I need to take an online course?
For most online courses, you just need a computer with an updated browser and reliable high-speed internet access. Some courses may require a webcam and microphone. You may be able to complete some of your coursework on a tablet or mobile device, but a computer is recommended.
Do I have to sign on at a particular time or place?
Most courses allow you to sign in at any time of the day or night and anywhere you have internet access. You will still need to meet the course due dates and will need to plan your schedule accordingly.
Can I work at my own pace? Do online courses have deadlines?
Online courses are as demanding and rigorous as traditional face-to-face courses. They are not self-study or self-paced and will require your attention throughout the semester. Online courses are actively led by an instructor who sets due dates and deadlines. You will be expected to complete all online course activities by the specified due date.
How do I know if I am ready to take an online course?
Online courses require organization, time, time management, and self motivation. It is probably best to speak with an advisor before registering for an online course, but you can take a short assessment that may help you understand if online learning is right for you:
What is a hybrid course?
A hybrid course combines some online learning with some face-to-face class sessions though with fewer in-person meetings than a traditional face-to-face course. If you are new to online learning, a hybrid course might be a good way to get started.
Can I take a mix of online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses?
Sure! You can customize your education, mixing traditional, hybrid, and online courses to meet your educational goals.
Can I complete a degree fully online?
Yes, there are a number of degrees and certificates that can be completed fully online. Many of the other AAS degrees and certificates can be completed 75% or 50% online. Be sure to check with an advisor to verify the degree/certificate you are interested in offers the online option you are interested in pursuing.
Are online courses accredited?

St. Charles Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Courses taken at SCC for credit may be accepted in transfer by other colleges, whether traditional, online, or hybrid provided they are appropriate to the degree sought.

Colleges and Schools. Courses taken at SCC for credit may be accepted in transfer by other colleges, whether traditional, online, or hybrid provided they are appropriate to the degree sought.M

What is the cost for online courses?
Please see Tuition and Fees for the most current tuition rates.
How do I get my books and course materials?
You are responsible for getting your textbook and course materials for your online course(s). Textbook information can be obtained and textbooks purchased from the SCC Bookstore. You can also find textbook and course materials listed on the course syllabus available in your Canvas course one week before the start of the course. Some courses participate in the Direct Digital Access (DDA) program, which automatically provides your textbook and course materials electronically in Canvas; all students enrolled in a Direct Digital Access Course will be automatically billed on their student accounts for DDA course materials upon registration for a DDA course.
Does academic integrity apply to online courses?
Online assignments are subject to the same standards of integrity that apply in traditional face-to-face classes. It is cheating to copy from others or from outside sources on any online assignment, quiz, or exam (unless otherwise specified by the instructor). Your online instructor may use anti-plagiarism software or proctored exams to verify that submitted work is your own. For more information on academic integrity, please see the Student Handbook.
My courses say that I am required to take a proctored exam. What does that mean?
A proctored exam is a test that is monitored to ensure academic integrity and test security. You may take a proctored test on campus, at an approved off-campus location, or using an online proctoring service. Arrangements for off-site testing must be approved by your instructor. Testing dates and locations will be provided in SCC Connection for any proctored exams that must be taken on campus.
I have a disability, is it possible to get accommodations for an online course?
If you need accommodations please contact the Office of Disability Support Services for an appointment. Please be sure to contact the office well before the start of the semester so that your instructor may make the necessary accommodations.
Is there tutoring available for online courses?
St. Charles Community College offers face-to-face and online tutoring services at the ACE Tutoring Center and additional online tutoring through a service called NetTutor, which is accessed through Canvas. Tutoring services are provided at no cost to students.
If I am taking courses online, can I still use the library, attend events on campus, and use other student services?
Absolutely! Online students have access to all campus activities, services, and resources, including a number of online services and activities. To learn more, see Student Services.
Is there an instructor for my online course, or is it taught by a computer?
All online courses are taught by active, engaged faculty who are scholars and professionals qualified in their fields of study. Faculty members teaching online and hybrid courses undergo additional professional development in best practices for online course design and delivery. Your online instructor will provide course content and assignments, give timely feedback on your work, and interact with your class regularly through announcements, email, online office hours, and in other ways depending on the course.
How do I contact my instructor?
Once you are logged into Canvas, click the "Inbox" link to access Canvas's messaging system. Click the pencil icon to compose a new message. Select your course, then in the "To" box, select your instructor (type his/her name and then select their name from the drop down list or click the address book icon to search); type a subject in the "Subject" box; compose your message then click Send.
I have attempted to contact my instructor several times without a reply. What should I do?
If you are unable to get in touch with your instructor, please contact the Department Chair.
What is the portal?
The portal is the college website specifically for St. Charles Community College students and faculty. This is where you’ll go once you are signed up with the college to find information like the academic calendar, financial information, and your records. You can also access your SCC student email (CougarMail) from the portal.
What is Canvas?
Canvas is the LMS (Learning Management System) used at St. Charles Community College to deliver online and hybrid courses and to enhance traditional face-to-face courses. Canvas is where you’ll find and work in your courses. It is an innovative, user-friendly learning management system that expands the possibilities for teaching and learning. It is likely that you will use Canvas in your classes at SCC, but some disciplines like Mathematics and Music may use a different learning management system.
What are the technical requirements for using Canvas?
To learn about the technical requirements for Canvas, please see the What are the browser and computer requirements for Canvas? guide.
Which browsers work best with Canvas?
Canvas supports the last two versions of a browser release. For best performance, Canvas should be used on the current or first previous major release of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari. Because it's built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser. For the most up-to-date information on browsers please see the What are the browser and computer requirements for Canvas? guide.
Can I access Canvas courses on my smartphone or tablet?

Yes! For the best user experience, please download the Canvas mobile application rather than accessing Canvas through your phone’s or tablet’s browser. Canvas apps are free in iTunes and Google Play. Although Canvas works on mobile devices, not all Canvas features may be supported on mobile devices, especially on iOS. Mobile devices work best for quick on-the-go access and are not recommended for longer assignments like writing papers or completing entire online courses.

To learn more, see the mobile apps guides for smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android):

Where do I go to log into Canvas in order to access my online courses?
To access your online courses, you can go to You can also access Canvas from the portal or through the Canvas App on a smartphone or tablet.
Where can I get help with my Canvas Login?
Contact the SCC IT Service Desk at 636-922-8555 or visit them in the Learning Resource Center. Check the IT Service Desk Hours.
Once I'm registered, when will I be able to access my Canvas course?
Online classes become available one week before the start of the semester. At that time, you can log into Canvas and access the course syllabus. Most instructors do not release the course content or allow assignments to be completed until the semester officially starts. If you register late, your course may not be available for 24 hours. If it is the first day of the semester, and you still do not see your course(s), please contact the IT Service Desk at 636-922-8555.
My course is not showing when I log into Canvas. What do I do?
If you just registered, it may take up to 24 hours before your course appears in Canvas. If you do not see your course after 24 hours, please contact the IT Service Desk at 636-922-8555.
Where can I get help with Canvas?
If you need help with Canvas, simply click the Get Help button on the main Canvas menu. There you will find access to a support hotline that is available 24/7, 365 days a year. You will also find a “Chat” tool for accessing Canvas Support, as well as Canvas Guides that provide step-by-step directions that can be printed.
How do I get help with other technical issues?
Technology's amazing, but sometimes it drives you crazy, right? Yeah, us too. The IT Service Desk is here to help! It's available to all students and employees who need technical help with any of our online services – even if it's just a forgotten password. You can call the IT Service desk at 636-922-8555, visit them in the Learning Resource Center, or email them at
If I have other questions about online learning, whom can I ask?
If you have questions about your course, be sure to reach out to your instructor. If you have other questions about online learning, please feel free to reach out to the SCC Department of Online and E-Learning (OEL).
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