Fitting a college education into your already busy schedule can seem daunting – but it doesn’t have to be. Through AACC’s Virtual Campus, one of the nation’s top community college online learning programs, you can earn an entire college degree, get job training, sharpen your professional skills or take a course for fun, all from the comfort and convenience of your own computer. Our online classes are taught by many of the same professors who teach face-to-face courses at AACC, and, as an online student, you’ll have full access to online tutoring, technical support and other student services – everything you need to succeed in the online classroom.
Online courses use the internet and AACC’s online learning platform, Canvas, to deliver course materials and facilitate regular and helpful interaction between you and your instructor, and even between you and your fellow students. Online courses cover the same material as classroom courses and the learning outcomes are the same. The big difference is that the format offers a convenient way to take classes - allowing for greater flexibility in your schedule. It can save you travel time (and some money) as well.
It is important to know that online courses are not self-paced. They have a clear start and end date, and your instructor will set deadlines for assignments and assessments in the same way as face-to-face classes. While you will have access to materials 24/7, you must meet the objectives of the class on the required timetable.
For these reasons, online courses are not a good fit for everyone. Students who are successful in the online environment are motivated, self-disciplined, organized and have good time management skills. To participate in online classes, you also should have a good understanding of computer hardware and software applications, and the internet.
*Note: Some online courses may require proctored exams or on-campus assessments at a testing center.
To learn more about online learning, and debunk a few common myths, watch this Introduction to Online Learning tutorial.
Hybrid courses combine the learning formats of in-class instruction with the convenience of online, computer-based learning. If you choose a hybrid course, you must attend scheduled campus meetings, which are fewer than most face-to-face classes, reducing the amount of time spent on campus.
If you have considered taking an online course but are unsure if you are ready for the format, or if you benefit from some in-class engagement on campus, consider taking a hybrid course.
AACC has many degrees and certificates available online. Complete a program fully online or take in combination with traditional and/or hybrid courses.
Think of an online course as your virtual classroom. Instead of the learning environment consisting of four walls, your virtual classroom is contained on the internet in a learning management system (LMS). AACC uses the an LMS called Canvas to deliver all credit (and some noncredit) online and hybrid courses. All of the course content resides in a password-protected learning environment; however, you are able to receive course updates and reminders, where and when you want – by email, text messaging and even Twitter – making it easy to stay up to date with your course activities and communications.
There is a Virtual Campus Student Orientation available in every class in Canvas, which will help you learn how to navigate and use the tools of Canvas.
If you live outside of Maryland, review AACC's State Authorization information.