Virtual Campus FAQ

View the answers to our most frequently asked questions:

What is different about taking a course online compared to a traditional on campus class?

Generally, online courses are set up as units with assignments from each unit due by the end of the week. It will help you have a positive experience if you do not let yourself get behind. Online courses are as much work as on-campus courses, and it may take additional time to do the coursework. However, the convenience of working at home and on your schedule may be well worth the extra effort.

Reading assignments are still based on your textbook, which you can purchase at the bookstore. Quizzes or tests, and other written submissions, are done online. Some of the quizzes (multiple choice or true/false) are automatically graded, meaning you receive your grade immediately. Your instructor will grade and return essay tests or learning activities that require typing the text from a word processing program. Note that the system keeps a record of your assignments, including the time and date submissions were made and graded.

Note that some courses require proctored testing.

Discussion board participation is an important part of most online classes. These are not "live" discussions, but more like a bulletin board where there is a record of all postings. You are expected to not only make your own comments but to also respond to other student's ideas and opinions. You may email your instructor any time you have a question or comment as well.

How do I find out about online programs and courses offered at NCC?

NCC offers several degrees, certificates, and specialized diplomas that can be completed online.

For most of NCC’s other programs, some courses can be completed online.  At the top of the online courses web page, you will be able to access PDF files listing online courses that will be offered in upcoming semesters.

An academic advisor can help you to identify specific courses that are required for your program that are available online.

Do I get credit for taking an online learning course?

Yes. All online learning courses here are fully accredited and are taught by NCC faculty. They are transferable and there is no difference on your transcript between an online learning course and a traditional classroom course.

When will I be expected to attend class?

Online courses are offered year round. This includes Spring, Mid-Spring, Summer, Fall, Mid-Fall, and Winter. Attendance and participation are measured by how often you log into the course web site and by completion of required weekly activities. You can access the course at your convenience to complete your coursework each week following your class syllabus. Generally, online students do not have to be online at a specific time for coursework.

How much does it cost to take an online course?

Online course tuition is equivalent to on-campus course tuition. 

Can I use financial aid for online courses?

Because financial aid varies for each individual, we strongly recommend that you can contact the Financial Aid Office at 610-861-5510 to discuss your financial aid options.

Do I have to take a placement test?

Some but not all students will be required to complete placement testing. NCC uses placement tests to assess skills in reading, writing, mathematics and English as a second language (ESL). The results are used to place students into courses where they will have the best opportunity to succeed. Courses are available for students who need developmental work as determined by placement testing. For more information about reading, writing, and mathematics testing, visit the Academic Advising placement testing page. For information about ESL placement testing, visit the ESL FAQ page.

Do the classes have proctored testing, or testing at campus?

Yes, certain online courses require proctored testing proctored testing. Some courses require students to take only a proctored final exam. Others require multiple proctored exams throughout the semester. To determine if a course requires proctored tests, locate the course through the Course Search page. Select the section you are interested in. Click into the course section which is a hyperlink (example: “ENGL101-WA”). On the course details page, review the “note” section to see if it lists proctored exams.  

Are there any requirements?

To take online courses at Northampton Community College, you will need the following:

  • Access to a laptop or desktop computer (PC with Windows or Mac) with Internet connection; Chromebooks, iPads, tablets, and smart phones will not allow enough access to course content to successfully complete all coursework.  
  • You will need to be able to type on the computer to complete papers, emails and online discussions. If you cannot type, we recommend you learn how to type before enrolling in an online course. You must also have proficient reading and writing skills. The majority of communication in online learning courses is done in writing.
  • You should be comfortable using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word. You should be familiar with sending email and using basic functions such as "copy" and "paste" as well as how to attach or upload digital content.
  • Be able to utilize the NCC email system (Gmail) for communication with your instructor and class.
  • Be able to budget your time and priorities. Online learning courses are NOT self-paced. They follow the semester calendar as far as registration, mid-terms, finals, etc. Homework and other assignments, tests and quizzes are due on a regular basis.

Is online learning the right choice for you?

Most online learning students juggle busy schedules, work full- or part-time, have children, or can't easily get to campus. Online learning is for students who are motivated, work well independently and are comfortable using a computer. Check with your academic advisor to make sure the courses offered fit into your curriculum. Take our short quiz to get feedback on if online learning would be a good fit for you and what challenges you should anticipate based on personal preferences.

Do I have to come to campus to complete any course requirements?

Although most course work can be done from home, some courses may require proctored testing. Some courses require students to complete off-campus field experiences such as observations, research projects, internships, or other practical experiences. Students can contact Admissions (610-861-5500 or adminfo@northampton.edu) for information on field experience requirements for specific programs. 

When do online classes begin?

Online courses are offered year round. This includes Spring, Mid-Spring, Summer, Fall, Mid-Fall, and Winter. View our list of courses that can be completed online. At the top of this web page, you will be able to access PDF files listing online courses being offered in upcoming semesters.

Refer to the college’s academic calendars for details on upcoming semesters, including start dates and tuition deadlines. 

Lastly, you can locate courses through the Course Search page. Here, you’ll be able to view the instructor, start date, end date, and text book information for courses. If you have any questions, contact the Academic Advising Office.

How do I enroll in an online course(s) or an online degree or certificate program?

Students who would like to register for a course should follow the registration procedures listed on the Registration page.

How do I access my online class content?

NCC uses the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver its online courses. You access the LMS through the Internet, so you must have access to the Internet. You will access Blackboard through MyNCC. After enrolling at NCC, you will be mailed your MyNCC login credentials. You will have access to course content starting the first day of the course.

Can I take developmental English courses online?

If you are instructed to complete developmental English courses or COLS150 before enrolling in college-level English courses, developmental English courses and COLS150 are only available in an on-campus format. If you have questions about developmental course requirements, contact the Academic Advising Office.

How do I access the online course schedule at NCC?

First, it might be helpful to view our list of 100% online courses. At the top of this web page, you will be able to access PDF files listing online courses being offered in upcoming semesters.

Once you identify the online course of interest, locate the course through the Course Search page. Here, you’ll be able to view the instructor, start date, end date, and text book information for courses.

Who can help me if I have Blackboard questions?

Your first point of contact when having trouble should be your instructor. If you require additional technical assistance, contact the ITS Help Desk.

How do I order textbooks and other course materials?

You have several options to find out what textbooks and materials are required for your course.

One option is to locate each course through the Course Search page. When you find the section you are interested in, click the “textbook” link listed alongside your course section and a new window will open that will provide text book information. Back in the first window, click into the course section which is a hyperlink (example: “ENGL101-WA”). On the course details page, review the “note” section to see if it lists additional required materials such as a web camera.

You can also access this information by logging into MyNCC and clicking the “My Registration Icon”. On the next page, make sure that you select the correct semester from the drop-down menu. Then scroll to your schedule at the bottom of the page. Click the “textbook” link listed alongside your course and a new window will open that will provide text book information. Back in the first window, click into the course section which is a hyperlink (example: “ENGL101-WA”). On the course details page, review the “note” section to see if it lists additional required materials such as a web camera.

How do I contact my instructor?

Most online instructors prefer email as their preference in how you can contact them. Your Blackboard LMS will have a built-in tool that allows you to easily email your instructor. When the instructor responds, you will receive an email in your NCC email account inbox. You can access your inbox by logging into MyNCC and clicking the Gmail icon that looks like an envelope with a red letter “M” on it.

Prior to semester starts, you won’t have access to your course on Blackboard. You will be able to identify your instructor’s email address by logging into MyNCC and clicking the “My Registration Icon”. On the next page, make sure that you select the correct semester from the drop-down menu. Then scroll to your schedule at the bottom of the page. Click into the course section which is a hyperlink (example: “ENGL101-WA”). On the next page, you’ll see an instructor area near the top of the page. Your course instructor’s name will be listed. If it says “Faculty Staff Directory” instead of name, then you will have to wait until a specific instructor is assigned to your course. Click the blue “i” symbol to the right of their name and a pop-up window will appear listing their email address.

Please keep in mind that prior to semester stars, instructors might not be monitoring their email.

How do I contact the Admissions Office?

You can contact the Admissions Office at 610.861.5500.

How do I contact the Registrar's Office?

You can contact the Registrar's Office at the Bethlehem Campus at 610.861.5494 or the Monroe Campus at 570.369.1800.