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What are open entry courses?

Open entry courses provide you with convenience and flexibility in completing credit courses without traditional classroom instruction.  There are no lectures in this format. They allow you some flexibility in completing your coursework. If you are a disciplined and motivated student, you may wish to consider this option.  You may complete your work in the Office Technology classroom, in the student computer labs, or at home if you have the appropriate software. Microsoft Office 2013 is used for computer application courses. Tests must be taken in the classroom.  Instructors will be available to assist you with your coursework. You may accelerate your pace and finish sooner than your final deadlines.  Enrollment will be contingent on seat availability.

In the fall and spring semesters, you may take one-credit courses and, as soon as you complete them, you may start the next one-credit courses (up to Week 10 of the semester). If you start later in the semester, you will receive new start dates; end dates will be the semester deadline.  You may start two- and three-credit courses only during Weeks 1 and 2 of the semester.

In the winter and summer semesters, you may take our 1-credit courses and our 3-credit CMSY Software Applications course and start them by the deadline listed in the schedule of classes.  End dates will be the semester deadline.

Fall and Spring Semesters

  • All Office Technology courses will be listed in the schedule of classes.
  • You may start one-credit courses during Weeks 1 to 10 of the semester.
  • You may start your two and three-credit courses only during Weeks 1 and 2 of the semester.
  • You may not start your courses early.
  • You must finish your coursework by the deadline listed in the schedule of classes.

Winter and Summer Semesters

  • Only 1-credit Office Technology courses and our 3-credit CMSY 110 Software Applications course will be listed in the schedule of classes.
  • You must start one-credit courses by the deadline listed in the schedule of classes.
  • You may not start your courses early.
  • You must finish your coursework by the deadline listed in the schedule of classes.

Advantages

There are many advantages to taking a course in this format:

  • Flexibility in completing your work.  You are not tied to a specific date and time to attend class. You may complete your work at home or in class.  However, you must meet deadlines for tests and homework.  You are required to take tests in the Office Technology classroom.
  • Instructors.  Most people want or need some kind of instruction while taking a class.  Many of the instructors are certified in Microsoft software and are there to help you, one-on-one, any time the Office Technology Classroom is open. 
  • You aren’t in competition with other students.  You don’t have to raise your hand and ask a question in front of an entire class.  When you need help, raise your hand and an instructor will assist you individually.

Credit or Audit

Office Technology courses are offered in the areas of Office Technology and Computer Systems for credit or no credit (audit status).  You may use these credits toward a letter of recognition, one-year certificate, or two-year degree. 


Courses 

Here is a list of Office Technology courses; some have prerequisites.

1-credit courses

  • CMSY-101 Beginning Spreadsheets
  • CMSY-102 Beginning Word Processing
  • CMSY-103 Beginning Databases
  • CMSY-104 Advanced Word Processing
  • CMSY-116 PowerPoint
  • CMSY-117 Advanced Spreadsheets
  • CMSY-118 Advanced Databases
  • CMSY-123 Microsoft Office Publisher
  • CMSY-126 Introduction to Internet
  • CMSY-127 Microsoft Outlook
  • CMSY-128 Introduction to HTML
  • CMSY-132 Introduction to Windows
  • CMSY-134 Introduction to Operating Systems
  • CMSY-136 Integrated Software Applications
  • CMSY-142 Operating System Fundamentals I
  • CMSY-143 Operating System Fundamentals II
  • OFFI-279 Keyboarding

2-credit courses

  • OFFI-281 Legal Document Preparation

3-credit courses

  • CMSY-110 Software Applications for Micros
  • OFFI-102 Editing Skills
  • OFFI-260 Medical Terminology
  • OFFI-270 Medical Transcription Techniques
  • OFFI-275 Office Simulation
  • OFFI-283 Legal Terminology and Transcription
  • OFFI-293 Beginning Medical Transcription
  • OFFI-297 Advanced Medical Transcription

Contact 

If you would like to speak to someone about open-entry courses, please call 443-518-4876.

If you would like to email your questions, click here.


Frequently Asked Questions

WHERE IS THE OFFICE TECHNOLOGY CLASSROOM LOCATED?  

The Office Technology Classroom is in Duncan Hall, Room 301.

WHAT ARE THE OFFICE TECHNOLOGY CLASSROOM HOURS?  

Times and days vary each semester. 

WHEN IS THE OFFICE TECHNOLOGY CLASSROOM LEAST CROWDED?  

The least crowded hours are 8:00–9:00 a.m. and 2:00–3:00 p.m.    

WHY ARE THERE NO LECTURES FOR THESE CLASSES?  

You may be accustomed to having an instructor in front of the class telling you what to do or explaining concepts to you.  You won’t have that for open-entry classes.  Students come with such varied backgrounds that keeping computer classes on the same level is very difficult.  You will be given everything an instructor would say to you; you are just reading it instead of hearing it.  This allows you to maintain a flexible schedule that suits you best.  

Students who are most successful are the ones who learn to have confidence in themselves and can work on their own—problem solving, time management, and attention to detail.  This type of learning environment will offer you this opportunity.  You can’t take an instructor to work with you!  On the other hand, you will receive individualized help when you need it.  An instructor will work with you, one-on-one, to explain and demonstrate concepts.  

WHO ARE MY INSTRUCTORS? HOW MUCH HELP WILL THEY GIVE ME?  

Each instructor has a different work schedule — different days/evenings and hours.  At all times, three to five instructors are available to help you.  Each instructor wears a name tag.  

One of the benefits to you of an open-entry program is the gradual increase of your self-confidence — your ability to solve problems and to be successful.  The instructors are there to help you.  However, they will not take the place of your responsibility to read the text and syllabus instructions.  If you take a course to become job-ready, then you must become self-sufficient — someone who can solve his/her own problems.  However, you should ask for help whenever you need it, but don’t be offended if an instructor tells you where to find the information without directly giving you the answer.  You should never spend more than 15 minutes trying to figure something out for yourself.  That is not a good use of your time.  Ask an instructor.  

WHAT MATERIALS WILL I NEED FOR CLASS?  

For most courses you will buy a textbook in the college bookstore.  For computer courses, you will need flash drives.  In addition, you will be given a syllabus when you begin class.  

WHAT IS A SYLLABUS? WHY DO I NEED ONE?  

Every course has a syllabus that states how you will be graded, when homework is due and tests are administered, and detailed instructions to follow.   

IS ATTENDANCE TAKEN?  

No.  However, all tests and assignments have due dates. Tests must be taken during the hours the Office Technology classroom is open.

MAY I DO WORK AT HOME?  

For most courses, some or all of the work (except tests) may be done outside of class.  Often students only attend to take tests because they have completed all the work at home.  Keep in mind that you may do computer work in HCC’s computer lab when the Office Technology Classroom is not open.  Remember that the HCC computer lab staff are not there to teach you or help you with your classwork.  When the Office Technology Classroom is open, you should spend your class time there.  

MAY I CALL AN INSTRUCTOR IF I AM DOING MY WORK AT HOME AND HAVE A PROBLEM?  

You may call, but know that helping someone on the phone (particularly with a computer problem) can be difficult without seeing your screen and what you are trying to do.  If you are “stuck” on something, it is better to take the time to bring in your flash drive and get help in person.  

WHERE DO I TURN IN MY WORK?  

If your class requires homework, you will bring your work to the Office Technology Classroom. 

WHERE DO I TAKE TESTS?  

All tests must be taken in the college's Office Technology Classroom at HCC's main Columbia campus.   

DO I HAVE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO TAKE A TEST?  WHEN DO I TAKE TESTS?  

No appointment is needed to take a test.  You just come to the Office Technology Classroom and ask an instructor for the test you need.  Check your calendar to see when tests are due.  Penalties are imposed for late tests and homework assignments.  

MAY I TAKE TESTS EARLY?  

Yes.  Some students will come to class many hours a week and complete a course in 2-4 weeks.  Others may just have to “fill in the gaps” of what they don’t know and will also finish early.  You can always test early according to your needs and schedule.   

MAY I KEEP MY GRADED TESTS?  

No.  Tests are kept on file for a short period after you complete a course.  Then they are destroyed.  There is too much of a chance of other students seeing test papers which would constitute cheating and put everyone in an uncomfortable position.  Therefore, tests are never allowed to be taken out of the Office Technology Classroom.  An instructor is always available to go over your tests with you.  

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TESTS/ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE?  

You will receive a calendar with deadline dates for the course.  Take care not to follow someone else’s schedule — it may be very different from your own. 

MUST I FINISH ON THE LAST DAY OF A SEMESTER?   

Yes.  All work must be completed by the semester deadline; you may not carry your course into the next semester.

MAY I SIGN UP FOR MORE THAN ONE COURSE AT A TIME?  

You may sign up for as many courses as you wish.  However, it is usually best to take one computer course at a time, finish that one, then sign up for another one.  If you sign up for two computer courses at the same time, you must finish them both by your semester deadline.  Instructors are available to assist you with planning which courses to take.  

HOW CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL IN AN OPEN-ENTRY COURSE?  

Successful students have:  

  • good time management skills
  • good reading comprehension and study skills
  • the ability to develop problem-solving skills
  • the incentive to keep up with the work by setting time aside each week to understand and study the material
  • the practical insight to request help promptly