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Columbia MD, 21044
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Laurel, MD 20707
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Online Courses

Do you need a flexible schedule? Do the demands of work and/or family make it hard for you to come to campus on a regular basis?

Then the alternative formats and flexible scheduling options of HCC's online courses could help you achieve your educational goals. Our flexible learning formats include online, hybrid, open entry, and FastTrack courses.  All courses, no matter the delivery method, meet the same objectives , are academically rigorous and are as transferable as traditional campus-based courses.

How are the Delivery Methods Different?

  • Online

    In an online course, instruction, learning activities, and interactions between faculty and students take place online on a dedicated course website. Taking an online course has many advantages, including increased flexibility in completing homework assignments, the ability to communicate with your classmates and your instructor from the convenience of your own home or workplace, and enhanced access to written materials ranging from discipline-specific internet resources to discussions and instructors’ announcements. However, an online course is not for everyone. For instance, if you need the discipline of meeting on campus several times a week and you enjoy the in-person interaction with other students and your instructor, you are more likely to succeed in a regular classroom or hybrid course format.

    Many online courses may require you to come to take proctored exams. These exams can be taken onsite at the HCC Test Center, at an approved alternative location or via a virtual proctoring service. A basic understanding of the internet and web browsing are required. Online course activities may be completed at any location with a computer and internet connection. Online courses begin when the regular courses begin. When online course registration is complete, you may log on to your password-protected course website beginning on the first day of the semester. 

  • Hybrid

    A hybrid course is conducted using a combination of campus and online instruction. It is an ideal combination of classroom interaction with the use of online resources. Because so many of the course interactions are conducted online, the amount of class meeting time is a percentage of the traditional onsite version of the course. For online course interaction, a basic understanding of the internet and web browsing are required. Online activities may be completed at any location with a computer and internet connection. 

  • Open Entry

    An open entry course allows shorter completion times, drop-in hours, and various places where you may complete your work. Many of the Computer Systems (CMSY) and Office Technology (OFFI) courses are offered in this format. 

    There are many advantages to taking an open entry course. For the majority of the courses, you may start at the beginning of the traditional semester or you may enroll later and start later. You can complete the course as quickly as you are able to do the work. These courses do not follow the structured lecture-style classroom format. The Office Technology classroom (DH-301, 443-518-4876) is staffed with certified instructors to help you, one-on-one, any time the classroom is open. You may vary your hours from week to week and attend class as often as you wish. You may do all of the work for this course at home (except tests).

    Test and assignment deadlines are effective as soon as your course begins (either when the semester begins or the day you enroll, whichever is later). Many of the courses offered in Office Technology may be taken online, following the same format as the open entry courses, except that the online sections are only offered twice a year. As an online student, you may do the work at home (except for tests) or in the Office Technology classroom. Immediately after enrolling in one of the online courses, submit an Office Technology pre-semester notification form to receive specific course instructions the week classes begin. 

  • FastTrack

    FastTrack courses concentrate the coursework of a traditional 14-week semester into a shorter period of time: 7, 6, 5, 4 or fewer weeks. Classes meet primarily on Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays.

Is Online Learning Right for you?

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Noncredit Online Courses

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