COVID-19 Information & Fall Plans

Virtual Campus FAQ

Click here to view technology requirements and information about technology used by NCC students.

  

For more information on how to prepare for online learning this fall, click here to check out our online learning setup guide. 

  

View the answers to our most frequently asked questions by clicking on the questions below:

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.

Are there any requirements (including technology requirements)?

Click here to view technology requirements and information about technology used by NCC students.

To take online courses at Northampton Community College, you will need to be able to do the following:

  • 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.
  • Use a word processing program such as Microsoft Word. You should be familiar with using basic functions such as "copy" and "paste".
  • Utilize the NCC email system for communication with your instructor and class. You will need to know how to attach or upload digital content.
  • Budget your time and priorities. Online learning courses feature weekly milestones that students need to complete by deadlines. 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.

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.

Some online courses ("online blended" and "remote") require students to meet online in real-time on a set schedule. Attendance and participation in these courses is measured both by participation in live online sessions as well as 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.

Other online courses do not include real-time online meetings. Attendance and participation in these courses 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. 

How much does it cost to take an online course?

Online course tuition is equivalent to on-campus course tuition. Specific details on tution costs are listed here.

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.  

Is online learning the right choice for me?

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.

Online courses are offered in 3 different formats (online, remote, and online blended).

  • Click here for more information on the different online course formats.
  • Click here to take a short quiz that will provide you suggestions on which NCC course format (including online options) can best support your specific needs and preferences. 
  • Click here to take a short quiz that will give you feedback on online learning in general. It will suggest challenges you might experience based on your personal preferences. For each challenge, you will be provided with college resources and other assistance that can support you to be a successful online student. 

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 and when do I access my online class content?

HOW TO ACCESS:

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. Click here for detailed information about which internet browsers, devices, and operating systems support Blackboard. 

As an online student at NCC, you’ll be receiving a standard email from NCC about 2 weeks prior to the start of your class.This email will include additional information.  

Logging into Blackboard directly - student instructions:

  1. Go directly to Blackboard:  https://northampton.blackboard.com
  2. Enter your username (your NCC student ID number that you log in to MyNCC with) and Blackboard password . If you have never changed your Blackboard password, both your username AND password will be your NCC student ID number.
  3. Once you log, you can change your password. You can find more information about changing your password in this helpful guide.
  4. If you are unable to login following these directions, email onlinelearning@northampton.edu from your NCC email address. They will be able to reset it for you.

HOW TO USE:

The Blackboard website provides many student help articles that can be of great assistance to you as you familiarize yourself with Blackboard. Here are some videos and articles focusing on some of the most commonly used Blackboard features:

If you are a current student and need assistance in addition to the information listed above, consider seeking support through the various resources listed here, including 30 minute Blackboard help appointments.

WHEN YOU CAN ACCESS BLACKBOARD:

You will be able to view your course on Blackboard, starting on the course start date. Course start dates vary. Click here for a quick tutorial that will show you how to check your course start date. On the first day of your course, you'll be able to log in to Blackboard and click on your course(s) listed under the "My Courses" heading.

PLEASE NOTE: For first-time NCC students, there is a delay between enrolling in a course and getting access to Blackboard. There can also be a delay for students who are returning to NCC after taking multiple semesters off. You will have Blackboard access by the time your course starts. If you still do not have access on the first day of your course(s), contact OnlineLearning@northampton.edu immediately for assistance.

Can I take developmental English courses online?

Some students are required to complete developmental English courses (ACLS050 & ENGL027) and/or "Skills for Academic Success" (COLS150) before enrolling in college-level English courses. Typically, ACLS050, ENGL027, and COLS150 are only available in an on-campus format.

In response to COVID-19, course sections of ACLS050, COLS150, ENGL027 are being offered in online formats during the Fall 2020 semester.

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. If your online course requires weekly online real-time meetings, the meeting times will be listed in the "faculty/schedule" area. 

If you have already registered for courses, you can review your course schedule on MyNCC following this quick video tutorial

Who can help me if I have questions about my current online course(s)?

Course content questions

If you have questions about course content, you are encouraged to communicate with your specific course instructor for assistance. Faculty contact information will be listed in your course syllabus. 


MyNCC / Student Email /Zoom / Devices that are borrowed from NCC 

If you are a current student and you are having trouble with any of these items, contact the Information Technology Help Desk.  


Blackboard questions

If you are a current student and you are having trouble navigating Blackboard, the Office of Online Learning is available for 30-minute bookable appointments as well as "virtual walk-in" office hours. Information on these is listed here.  

If you need additional Blackboard assistance, 24/7 phone support is available by calling 610.332.6089. Lastly, you can email onlinelearning@northampton.edu for assistance. 


Student Resource Page in Blackboard 

Starting in the Fall 2020 semester, all currently enrolled students will have access to the “Student Resource Page” in Blackboard. Once logged into Blackboard, students can access this page from their Blackboard landing page by clicking “Student Resource Page” which will be listed under “My Communities”.

This page will include additional help and information for online course technology and student support services information.

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.

  1. Find the section you are interested in.
  2. Click the “textbook” link listed for it.
  3. A new window will open that will provide text book information.
  4. Go back to the previous page, click into the course section which is a hyperlink (example: “ENGL101-WA”).
  5. A new window will open that lists course details. 
  6. Review the “note” section to see if it lists additional required materials.

You can also access this information by logging into MyNCC and clicking the “My Registration Icon”.

  1. On the next page, make sure that you select the correct semester from the drop-down menu.
  2. Scroll to your schedule at the bottom of the page.
  3. Click the “textbook” link listed alongside your course and a new window will open that will provide text book information.
  4. Go back to the previous page, click into the course section which is a hyperlink (example: “ENGL101-WA”).
  5. A new window will open that lists course details. 
  6. Review the “note” section to see if it lists additional required materials.

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 by logging into MyNCC:

  1. Click the “My Registration Icon”.
  2. On the next page, make sure that you select the correct semester from the drop-down menu.
  3. Scroll to your schedule at the bottom of the page.
  4. Click into the course section which is a hyperlink (example: “ENGL101-WA”).
  5. On the next page, you’ll see an instructor area near the top of the page. Your course instructor’s name will be listed. 
  6. Email addresses are listed publicly in the employee directories. Most instructors are listed under the faculty directory. Some are listed in the staff directory

Please keep in mind that prior to semester stars, instructors might not be monitoring their email. If you contact an instructor but do not hear back within 48 hours, please contact onlinelearning@northampton.edu with your question.