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The six-year completion rate for Asian students who started at a community college in the fall of 2015 was 51%. For Black students it was 30%, for Hispanic students it was 37%, and for White students it was 50%.

how do online college classes work

Community College FAQs

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to steep enrollment drops at community colleges. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center estimates that 4.7 million students were enrolled in public two-year colleges in fall 2021, down 3.4% from fall 2020. That’s on top of a 10% drop from the year before.

However, these studies underestimate the number of community college students, as about 100 community colleges offer a small number of bachelor’s degree programs and are listed in federal data as four-year institutions. According to a CCRC analysis correcting for this misclassification, 6.7 million students were enrolled at community colleges in fall 2017, and nearly 10 million students enrolled at a community college at some point during the 2017–18 academic year, about 44% of undergraduates.

Among all students who completed a degree at a four-year college in 2015–16, 49% had enrolled at a public two-year college in the previous 10 years. Nearly 6% attended public two-year colleges only as high school dual enrollment students. Texas had the most former public two-year college students among bachelor’s degree earners in 2015–16 with 75%. Rhode Island had the fewest with 24%.

Income Overall Dependent Independent
< $20,000 37% 23% 47%
$20,000–49,999 30% 28% 31%
$50,000 and up 33% 49% 22%

In the 2018–19 academic year, 55% of Hispanic undergraduates were enrolled at community colleges, compared with 45% of Asian undergraduates, 44% of Black undergraduates, and 41% of White undergraduates. Overall, 44% of undergraduates were enrolled at community colleges, according to an analysis by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) of IPEDS data that adjusts the IPEDS definition of two-year public colleges to include about 100 community colleges that award small numbers of bachelor’s degrees.

Bachelor degree courses

Bachelor degrees usually last either three or four years if studied full-time (although some courses are longer). You can concentrate on a single subject, combine two subjects in a single course (often called dual or joint honours courses), or choose several subjects (combined honours). Most courses have core modules which everyone studies, and many courses allow you to choose options or modules to make up a course that suits you.

Some bachelor degrees offer a sandwich year, involving an additional placement or year in industry, which forms part of the course. If you’re an international student, you’ll need to check you’re eligible to work in the UK, or that your visa allows you to do a placement course. Most international students on a tier 4 visa will be eligible for a year in industry or work placements as part of their course, but there may be some conditions. Check with the university or college before making this choice in your application. You can find out more on the UKCISA website.

There are also courses which include postgraduate-level study, known as integrated master’s. Integrated master’s being at undergraduate level, then continue for an extra year (or more) so you’re awarded a master’s degree at the end. These are most common in engineering or science subjects. If you’re interested in an integrated master’s, you’ll need to include the term ‘master’s’ when using the UCAS search tool.

Transfer Credit

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In addition to completing homework assignments and participation assignments, online learning incorporates the administering of exams. In some cases, these exams are downloaded into Microsoft Word or a similar program. Once this is complete, the student takes the exam and uploads it for the instructor to grade. In other cases, exams can be taken through the class website.

Exams are often timed, meaning that the student needs to be confident that there is enough time to complete the test without interruption or distraction. It is also essential that the student make sure that the internet connection is secure during testing periods. While the professor will generally allow you to make up the exam if you are logged off the internet, it is an inconvenience to begin a test all over. This is especially true if you aren’t able to save and retrieve the answers you have already recorded.

Open Book vs. Closed Book Exams

In some cases, a course instructor may make exams and quizzes “open book,” meaning that students can refer to their texts or other learning materials in attempting to select the correct answers. This is not always the case, though. In some events, you will have closed-book exams, and the honor system is used such that students are expected not to refer to their texts when answering questions.

How Do Online Classes Work in Terms of Honesty?

Academic dishonesty has become a significant problem recently. One study reported that nearly three-quarters of all students in online degree programs have admitted to cheating on at least one of their exams. To combat this issue, many schools have their students sign honor codes. Another way institutions are trying to decrease cheating is by adopting strict no-tolerance policies against dishonesty. Other schools have begun using anti-cheat software for exams and tests.

As you might imagine, none of these tactics is 100 percent effective. If you put a high priority on personal integrity, you will realize that cheating during your online coursework is somewhat counter-productive. After all, you are the one paying for academic services, and not the other way around. Academic cheating really means you are only cheating yourself out of the experience you signed up for.

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That rapid-response mentality is easier done in a supplemental program like Degree Plus than it is in more established yearslong programs taught by professors, who offer a deep base of knowledge but aren’t necessarily focused on workplace practices.

Making the classroom more like the office

Professors at schools who partner with the company are encouraged to use the product for atypical assignments, like reinterpreting poems using video. Students at the University of Central Florida have used the software to design 3D-printed limbs.

“These colleges are teaching digital communication and creative problem solving with assignments that ask students to understand problems, find solutions and then take action,” said Tacy Trowbridge, head of Adobe’s global education programs.

The idea is that students learn how to create a project that can be used in the real world, drawing on the skills a student would need in a business setting rather than those they’d use for taking a test. They also learn the “soft skills” that employers say are increasingly difficult to find in a job candidate.

Students attend the University of California, Berkeley's electrical engineering and computer sciences career fair in Berkeley, California, on September 5, 2018. University leaders say they are not only training students for jobs, but to have a larger impact on the world. Photo by Ann Saphir/Reuters

Students attend the University of California, Berkeley’s electrical engineering and computer sciences career fair in Berkeley, California, on September 5, 2018. University leaders say they are not only training students for jobs, but to have a larger impact on the world. Photo by Ann Saphir/Reuters

The University of California, Berkeley, is another school that is trying to foster student-driven pursuits, which may not have a traditional, professional outlet. Students there can design their own courses, such as “Blockchain Fundamentals” and “Impact of AI,” a class that explores “various economic, social, and ethical challenges facing AI.”