College of DuPageC.O.D. Online

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Frequently Asked Questions

COD Online Program
1. What kind of institution is College of DuPage?
Browse through the college's COD at a Glance page.

2. What are the advantages of choosing an online course?
You should consider taking advantage of online learning at COD for several reasons:

COD online courses are similar to traditional classroom-based courses. You can interact with your instructor and collaborate with fellow online classmates. You have specific start and completion dates for the course. You use academic textbooks and study guides. Most importantly, you earn academic credit that is identical to the classroom-based course.

Convenience and flexibility
With a proper Internet connection, you can take your online class at a location of your choice 24/7. While some courses require on-campus or proctor tests, most do not require you to travel to campus.

You save commuting time and child care expenses. All online courses are charged at the low in-district tuition rate regardless of where you reside.

Please Note: Online courses are no less rigorous than the same courses taught in the classroom because they have the same academic content (and generate the same academic credit). Internet courses will likely require more of a time commitment because you must take the initiative to plan and follow through a study schedule based on the requirements of your course. You need to proactively approach your instructor and ask any questions. Your instructor is readily available to interact, guide and support you in your study.

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3. Is there an additional application process required to enroll in online classes?
There is no additional application process required to take an online class.

4. Who administers the COD Online program?
The Learning Resources Division manages Internet courses with technology supported by the college’s department of Information Technology.

5. I'd like to take an online class at COD, but how do I know if it will transfer to my college/university?
You should first consult with an academic advisor at your university to verify that the course is transferable toward the degree you are pursuing.

6. Who are the online instructors?
Currently, there are more than 240 online instructors. Most distance-learning faculty also teach classroom-based courses at COD. Instructors in non-occupational/vocational programs are required to have a master's degree in the appropriate subject area.

7. Do online classes offer the same credits as classroom classes?
Yes. All COD online classes are credit classes (see Continuing Education for non-credit classes). They are listed on your transcript in the same manner. The transcript does not distinguish an online from a classroom class, or from a class in any other delivery mode.

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8. How do online courses work?
Blackboard is a web-based learning environment that allows students and faculty to participate in virtual courses. COD Online courses are delivered via the COD Blackboard system. Students need to purchase a textbook but they access instruction, course supplementary materials and assignments in their Blackboard account. Students can turn in assignments, receive feedback, view grades and participate in virtual class discussion in Blackboard. Most courses include online testing; therefore, students won’t need to travel to campus.

9. Do online classes have specific due dates?
Most classes have specific due dates for assignments and tests. Read the syllabus carefully and discipline yourself to follow a study plan in order to succeed. Before you register or before class starts, review the Course Summary.

10. How do I find out what classes are offered online?
Check out the master list of all credit courses available online. Most are offered every semester. To find a course offered in the current term or in the next term, go to Classes by Term and Course Information.

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11. What certificates and degrees can be earned online?
Courses for twenty-four certificates and nine degrees are available online. Browse through the Certificates and Associate degrees.

12. How can I find information about a particular course?
If the class has started and you are enrolled in the course, access your course in Blackboard.

Prior to the class start date or before you register, you can review the Course Summary of an online course.

You may also contact the instructor with any questions as a prospective or enrolled student. The Online Faculty Directory provides instructor contact information. Be aware that some instructors may not be available until the first day of class.

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Learner Readiness for Success
13. How can I complete an online course?
You must be self-motivated, self-directed and well-organized. It is important that you know how to set up your own study schedule and keep on top of your assignments so that you do not fall behind. To learn more, visit How to be successful in online learning or What makes a successful online student? You can also take the SmarterMeasure test.

14. How much computer and Internet experience do I need?
You need some experience navigating and using the Internet, downloading and uploading files and using word processing software. Knowing how to attach document files to an e-mail is helpful. For more information, read Technical Readiness.

15. How can I be sure my computer is suitable for online learning at COD?
The College uses the Blackboard Learning System to deliver online courses. Check the Blackboard Software Recommendations to ensure your computer is ready for online learning.

16. Do I need special hardware and software for my online course?
Some courses may require additional software/hardware. To see if your course requires additional software/hardware, go to the Classes by Term and Course Information page and click on the term of your interest. Locate the class of your choice. In the block containing course information, if the letter "M" is present, the course requires additional software/hardware.

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17. I don’t have a computer at home. Can I still take an online course?
Yes. You can use the college’s Academic Computing Labs. There are also open computer labs in the COD regional centers. The Glen Ellyn campus library has many computer stations available for public and student use.

18. Do I have to come to campus regularly for an online course?
Most courses do not require a campus visit but some require on-site or proctor tests. Find out if your course requires campus visit(s).

19. Do I need to come to campus for labs in online science courses?
No. Online science courses use web-based labs (simulations) or labs that can be completed from home if they contain a lab component. You are encouraged to verify any required campus activity by contacting the instructor or looking at the course components codes.

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20. Do I have to be at the computer at specific times?
Most courses do not require synchronous class activities. You should check the course syllabus or contact the instructor for confirmation.

21. How do I register and pay tuition and fees?
These answers and links provide detailed information about registration, cost and methods of payments.

If you are a new student, you need to be admitted to the college first. See How do I register if I’ve never taken a course at the college before?

22. What are the registration dates?
Refer to the college Registration Calendar to find out dates for registration, withdrawal and refunds.

23. How do I register if I’ve never taken a course at the college?
You need to apply for admission to the college prior to enrollment. Go to the Admissions website and follow the steps under Getting Started at College of DuPage to start the admission application process.

24. I'm a returning COD student, but I have never used myACCESS. What should I do?
myACCESS is the student self-service website. To login to myACCESS, go to Click on "I'm new to myACCESS" and follow the steps. For detailed instructions, you can select "How to Use myACCESS".

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25. Why won't myACCESS allow me to register for my class?
The three primary reasons myACCESS will not allow you to register are: 1) a prerequisite is required; 2) the class is full; or 3) the class has already started. Follow these steps to see if the class is full, or has already started. Click on the course title in myACCESS to see if a prerequisite is required. Go to the Records Office webpage on Proof of Prerequisite to find out your options.

26. How can I find out if a course I am interested in is full?
Follow these steps, or call Registration at (630) 942-2377. Remember that at peak registration periods, calling may not be the best option.

27. Why is there an enrollment limit on Internet courses?
Although Internet classes are not limited by physical space, the instructor can only effectively teach the course with a limited amount of students.

28. How can I register for a class that is full?
If the course has not yet begun, you can request to be added to the waitlist for the course. Information on how to request to be on the waitlist for the course is available in myACCESS by clicking on the "Search for Credit Classes" link. If the term has already begun, you will need a permit from the instructor. The instructor may or may not be able to grant permission depending on various factors. If you need the contact information of your instructor, go to the Online Faculty Directory or follow these instructions.

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29. How can I register for an online course if the class has already started?
Entering a course after the start date requires a permit from the instructor. Simply login to myACCESS to request an e-permit. The instructor may or may not be able to give you a permit. If you receive a permit, the instructor can send it directly to Registration so you can enroll.

To obtain contact information for the instructor, read this page or go directly to the Online Faculty Directory.

30. What can I do when my registration is denied due to “Prerequisite not met”?
Go to the Records Office webpage on Proof of Prerequisite to find out your options.

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31. Can a high school student take an online course?
Yes, if you meet the Early Admission Requirements described on the Admissions web site.

32. I will be out of the country during the semester. Can I take an online class?
Many of our courses are delivered entirely over the Internet, which allows for the completion of coursework from anywhere with an Internet connection. If your course requires on-site testing, depending on which country you are in, it is possible to make arrangements with an approved testing facility reasonably close to you. Find out if your course requires campus visit(s) for testing. If yes, learn about proctor tests. You should make arrangements or at least gather all necessary information before registration.

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After Enrollment
33. What should I expect after I enroll?
You should receive a Welcome Letter with a Student Quick Guide for Blackboard in the mail shortly after registration. You should also expect an e-mail version of the Welcome letter and Quick Guide sent to your student e-mail account prior to the start of your class. You can review these online.

34. How do I find out what textbooks or materials I need for my online class?
Textbook information is available in myACCESS. Select a section in which you wish to enroll and click on the blue course hyperlink to access the section information page. A link with textbook information is included on the section information page.

35. How do I purchase the textbook?
Two different ways to order your books and supplies are described in the Bookstore Services page.

36. Where can I access my online course?

Your course resides in the college’s Blackboard Learning System. You have access to it on and after the first day of your class. Blackboard resources for students, login instructions and the basics of navigation in your course are accessible via the Blackboard page.

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37. How do I log in to my course?
Follow the instructions in the Student Quick Start Guide and How to Access Your Course and Contact Your Instructor.

38. What if I experience technical problems?
If you are at home and having problems staying connected to the Internet, contact your Internet Service Provider. For example if you are an AT&T user, please call their tech support number.

If you cannot delay your work for a test or an assignment, you can come to campus, go to a public facility such as the public library or if you have a laptop that can connect to the Internet using WiFi, visit a commercial place that provides WiFi.

39. Where do I go if I’m having trouble logging into Blackboard?
Review the Blackboard page. If you still have difficulty, call (630) 942-2999 or e-mail:

If you are certain that the COD Blackboard system is down and it is a critical time for your completion of a test or assignment, contact your instructor right away. System down-time can be verified. The time stamp in your e-mail or voice mail can be helpful if you need to request an extension.

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40. Why don’t I see my course in my Blackboard account?
If the class has started and you don’t see the course link in your Blackboard account, you should check your enrollment status. Chances are you are not or no longer enrolled. You can find your class schedule by logging in to myACCESS or by calling Registration at (630) 942-2377.

If you are dropped from a class, you will need to re-register. The class could be full by then. To prevent this from happening, make sure you pay your tuition on time.

41. I’m having trouble in the course site. What should I do?
Once your class begins, contact your instructor with any problems that would prevent you from progressing. Your instructor may direct you to the appropriate service area for assistance.

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Course Specifics
42. When does an online course begin and finish?
Access to your course material begins on the first day of class. All coursework should be completed by the deadline date given in the course syllabus unless the instructor approves an alternative timeline. Here is how you can find the official start and stop dates of a particular online class.

Due dates for final assignments or tests usually differ from the official class end date. Review your syllabus carefully for the due date of the last assignment or test.

43. What if I am unable to complete the course by the end of the term?
Any student starting a course late or intending to move through the course at a slower pace than scheduled should discuss this with the instructor prior to enrollment.

Some instructors may allow an Incomplete grade ("I" grade) if the student has completed an appropriate level of coursework. Refer to the details and conditions in the syllabus.

You may want to review the Incomplete policy of an online course before you register.

44. What if I need to withdraw from the course?
The college has a policy regarding course withdrawals. The Registration Calendar details dates for withdrawal and refund amounts.

Your instructor may submit the withdrawal permission directly to the Registration office. You will need to follow up with the Registration Office to complete the withdrawal process.

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45. Where do I find an instructor's contact information?
There are several ways to find the e-mail addresses, phone numbers and office locations.

46. Do I have to be at the computer at specific times?
Most courses do not require synchronous class activity. You should check the course syllabus or contact the instructor for confirmation if this is critical to you.

47. Can I get an extension on completing the course if I start late?
When you request permission to enter a course late, you should discuss deadlines with your instructor at that time. Any flexibility is at the discretion of the instructor. The Course Summary available on this site includes the Incomplete Grade Policy.

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48. Is it possible to finish my course early?
You should discuss your needs with the instructor before the class add/drop period, especially if you need to receive your grade early.

You can finish early because most, if not all, course materials are presented once the class starts. But you will need to arrange early access to tests and/or other course content with your instructor.

Official grade reports are processed for all students after the class/semester ends. You can receive your grade early if your instructor is willing to grade all your work early and request an early grade for you.

49. Does the college require any placement testing before I enroll?
Yes. Pre-course assessment in reading, writing and math helps you discover what level of classes will contribute to your success. All new students should be familiar with certain placement assessment requirements. Learn more about Placement Testing.

50. How do I take my tests?
Most courses have tests, exams or other assessments set up in the course management system Blackboard. Take the tests online and in your course site. Some courses require that you come to the Testing Center on the Glen Ellyn campus or one of the off-campus Learning Commons locations, to take exams. Find out if your course requires on-site tests.

51. My course does not require campus visits for testing. What would online tests be like?
Tests are given in Blackboard, where your online course resides. Your instructor sets dates for test availability. Tests generally have time limits but formats can vary. Refer to the syllabus or contact your instructor with further questions.

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52. If I can’t come to campus for testing, can I arrange remote testing?
Yes. Details and useful links are available at our Testing page.

53. I accidentally hit the Submit button before finishing my exam. Can I retake it?
The instructor is the only one who can allow you to retake an exam after it has been submitted. Contact your instructor immediately.

54. I can’t access the test for my online class and it’s due today! What should I do?
Check your computer and rule out problems that only you or your Internet Service Provider can resolve. If you believe the COD Blackboard system is down, e-mail or call your instructor immediately. The time stamp of your e-mail or voice mail can be critical in your instructor’s decision to grant a retake. Your instructor will report the problem if necessary.

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55. Who do I go to for help with coursework during an online class?
If you have difficulty with any course-related activities, contact your instructor via e-mail or phone. Your instructor is dedicated to assist you in achieving success in the course. Make sure you use the contact information provided in the syllabus.

56. How can I find the name of the instructor for a current online course?
Follow the steps described on this page.

57. I can’t reach my instructor. What should I do?
If you are currently in the course, make sure you use the e-mail address and phone numbers provided in the syllabus. Entering a clear course-related subject will definitely help. If you don’t receive a response by phone or e-mail after a reasonable amount of time, e-mail or call the online student support phone line at (630) 942-2490 for assistance. You can also call the faculty’s division office.

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58. How does the instructor communicate with me?
Your instructor should post announcements in the course and send notices to your e-mail address. You cannot rely on the instructor to e-mail you as to when to start your class. The instructor has provided instructions in the course. You are encouraged to interact with your instructor by e-mail, phone or discussion board. Make sure you check your e-mail regularly.

Other Student Academic Support
59. Can I connect with a counselor or adviser online?
Yes! You can contact an academic adviser by e-mail or phone at (630) 942-2259. More about Counseling/Advising.

60. What library services and resources are available to me?
The College of DuPage Library is a state-of-the-art facility that offers a web-based interface to its many electronic resources. You have access to library services and databases through the Library web site.

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61. Are tutoring services available to online students?
Yes. Read this page for more information:  Academic Assistance and Peer Tutoring

62. Where do I find student support contact information?
The college’s web site is the best place to get information about various student support services. Check out the top and bottom menu bars and the site index. Contact information for an office is usually on the office’s home page.

Here is a quick reference of selected offices providing support services to students.

63. How can I learn more about student and academic support services?
Visit the Student and Academic Support Services web page. This is a quick way for distance learning students to gather information about the different online services. These links are listed specifically to assist distance learners in their planning and decision-making.

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COD Online contact

Call (630) 942-2490

For advising
Counseling and Advising
Call (630) 942-2259

For technical support
Computing Labs
Call (630) 942-2999

To purchase texts
COD Bookstore
Call (630) 942-2360

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