Frequently Asked Questions
Continuing Education Help & Support
Need information about us? See below for answers to some commonly asked questions.
For building and location information, visit our Classroom Locations page. For directions and parking information, visit our Maps, Direction & Parking page.
How can I find out if a class is full before I register?
If you register online via HCC Express, you will be able to see on-screen whether a class still has seat openings available. If you're registering by other methods, you can call the Division of Continuing Education Office at 443-518-4825 or 443-518-1700. Our staff will inform you whether the class is "open" or "filled" at the time of your call. However, keep in mind that as registration is ongoing, a class could fill at any time.
How do I change courses (transfer) or request a refund?
If you need to change your Continuing Education/Noncredit course selection, please contact us immediately. All continuing education courses are offered satisfaction-guaranteed and we can assist you to transfer to another course or process a refund. In most instances, if we receive notification before a class begins, you will receive 100 percent of tuition and fees (exceptions are noted in specific course descriptions).
Once a class starts, tuition (not fees) is refunded. Refunds are not available after a class has ended.
Transfers are usually permitted before the second class meeting. The quickest and most convenient way to fill out our Transfer/Refund Request form. You can also phone (call 443-518-1700), fax (443-518-4333) , write (Division of Continuing Education, Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044, Attn: Transfers and Refunds), or use the “Drop a Course” option on HCC Express. You will need to include your name, student identification number, address, home and business phone numbers, and course number, name, section number, and class start date.
Please allow enough time for letters or faxes to reach us before class begins. If you are dissatisfied with a course, call 443-518-1700 and the appropriate coordinator will help you.
How do I find out whether a class has been canceled?
Weather closings are announced on all the major local radio and television news stations, posted on the college's home page, and available by calling the college's main line at 443-518-1000. Weather closing policies can be viewed on our page.
If a class is canceled because of under-enrollment, you will be notified by phone or mail up to a few days before the class is due to start.
If a class is canceled because of instructor illness, a sign will be posted on or near the classroom door. If the instructor gives us sufficient notice of an absence, you will be notified earlier, by phone or email. As illness and family emergencies can arise quickly and unexpectedly, we regret that we cannot always give prior notice of class cancellation.
I registered by mail and have not received confirmation. Am I in the class?
If your registration is received at least a week before the course begins, you will receive a written confirmation. If you don't hear from us, you can confirm registration by contacting the Division of Continuing Education Office at 443-518-4825 or 443-518-4823. You must supply the course name, course number, section number, and your HCC Student Identification number or Social Security number before we can release this information. You can also check your class schedule online using HCC Express.
Is financial aid available for continuing education courses?
Yes. Limited funds are available for Howard County residents who meet the eligibility criteria. See our financial aid page for more information.
Is it possible to transfer between two different courses?
Yes. Transfers are acceptable as long as neither course has started and the new course is open; otherwise, permission is needed from the course coordinator. Please use our Transfer and Refund Request Form to make the change. If the cost of the courses differs, you will either receive a refund for the course with a lesser tuition, or in the case of a greater tuition amount, you will receive a bill from the continuing education business office.
Is it possible to transfer from one section of a course to another?
Transfers are acceptable as long as neither course has started and the new section is open; otherwise, permission from the course coordinator is necessary. Call 443-518-1700.
What is the last day to register?
Registration for most continuing education courses continues up until the class is filled or begins. Please register early as some courses fill rapidly, while other courses may have to be canceled if we do not receive enough registrations in time to run the course. If you register by mail, we strongly recommend doing so at least a week before the class starts. Special registration procedures exist for some allied health, license renewal, ABE, and ESL courses.
When does registration for continuing education classes begin?
As soon as a course is published online or in print, you may register. Registration for continuing education courses is an ongoing process as new courses are beginning all the time. At any given time, there will be a number of classes for which you can register—and in many cases up to the day before the class starts. Many of our classes are popular and fill quickly, so the sooner you register, the better. The online, fax, walk-in, and TouchTone registration options are the fastest. Mail registration is the slowest option and may take up to a week. As soon as a course is published online or in print, you may register. Registration for continuing education courses is an ongoing process as new courses are beginning all the time. At any given time, there will be a number of classes for which you can register—and in many cases up to the day before the class starts. Many of our classes are popular and fill quickly, so the sooner you register, the better. The online, fax, walk-in, and TouchTone registration options are the fastest. Mail registration is the slowest option and may take up to a week.As soon as a course is published online or in print, you may register. Registration for continuing education courses is an ongoing process as new courses are beginning all the time. At any given time, there will be a number of classes for which you can register—and in many cases up to the day before the class starts. Many of our classes are popular and fill quickly, so the sooner you register, the better. The online, fax, walk-in, and TouchTone registration options are the fastest. Mail registration is the slowest option and may take up to a week.
How do I get my GED high school equivalency diploma?
In Maryland, all students who pass the GED Exam earn a Maryland High School Diploma. You must pass four computer-based tests: Reasoning through Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics. You can sign up for the official GED test at ged.com. There are multiple testing centers throughout the state, including one here on HCC’s main campus.
We offer GED practice tests (GED Exam Review) monthly, for students who would like to see if they are ready to pass the official exam. The practice test costs $25 and is taken in an environment similar to the official testing environment. The schedule of practice tests is available here.
We also offer preparation classes for students who need to brush up on their skills. Classes are offered three times per year (fall, winter/spring, and summer) and at different times of the day and evening, usually twice per week. For more information and to start the registration process, please call us at 443-518-4919.
Is it possible to take a credit course as a noncredit student?
Yes, any course in the credit course schedule, with a few exceptions, can be taken as a noncredit course through the CustomClass option. CustomClass gives noncredit students the opportunity to sit in on the same classes with the same instructors as regular credit students. Tests and course assignments are optional in most cases, and no grade or transcript is received. The tuition costs are based on the number of credit hours for the course as stated in the credit course schedule, plus fees where applicable. No application fee is required. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and/or certificates of completion are available. For more information on CustomClass, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 443-518-4404.
What is the National External Diploma Program?
The National External Diploma Program (NEDP) is an alternative way to earn high school completion for persons 18 years of age and older. Students who complete the program earn a Maryland High School Diploma. There is no classroom instruction involved, but there is significant at-home, independent work that is required for successful completion of the program. You meet once a week with an advisor to build skills, and you must demonstrate 65 life skill competencies to receive a diploma. This is a self-paced, computer-based program that takes six months to a year to complete; students have a maximum of 15 months to complete all the requirements. Registration for the NEDP consists of reading, writing, and math prescreening to assess your skills. To begin the screening process, please call us at 443-518-4919.