Frequently Asked Questions about VCT

VCT Course Schedule
1. When are courses listed in the schedule for Fall? Spring? Summer?
2. What is the difference between the Standard and Variable schedules?
3. I am looking for a class over Winter Break. Where should I look?
4. If the class I am looking for is not offered in the current semester, do you know if it will be offered next semester?

Registering for a Course
1. How do I register for a course?
2. When is the best time to register for a VCT course?
3. If a course is listed as "full" at the website, can the Host College enroll me anyway?
4. How do I know if I have registered for the course? What if I haven't heard from the instructor?
5. How much do classes cost?
6. What do the starting dates mean?

After Your Class Begins
1. What typical resources are available at the VCT Host College?
2. How do I get textbooks for my courses?
3. Where and how do I take tests for my course(s)?

Grades
1. How do grades work with VCT?
2. Why did I receive a grade of incomplete when I finished my course(s) by the end of the semester?
3. If I graduate at the end of a semester in which I want to enroll in a VCT course, do I need to take any special actions?


VCT Course Schedule

1. When are courses listed in the schedule for Fall? Spring? Summer?

Each college is responsible for listing their courses in the schedule, and there is no specific deadline for entering them, so colleges could theoretically add them right up until registration. Check the schedule every other day or so during the reservation period to see if the particular class you are looking for has been posted. Here are some rough guidelines as to when VCT colleges typically list courses in the schedule:

Fall Semester: April through early Aug.
Spring Semester: Oct. through Nov.
Summer Semester: Feb. through early July

2. What is the difference between the Standard and Variable Schedules?

Courses in the Standard Schedule follow the standard 16-week semester, starting and ending at the same time as all other standard-semester courses. Courses in the Variable Schedule that have a variety of start and end dates. Summer courses do not fit the standard sixteen-week semester and they have a variety of start and end dates. So all summer courses are listed in a single schedule. Check the start/end dates carefully for each course on the Course Listing Form in the VCT online schedule. To see the Listing Form, click the course title in the online schedule.

3. I am looking for a class over Winter Break. Where should I look?

A few courses are occasionally available over Winter Break. They might show up in either the Fall or Spring Variable Schedules. Start checking VCT's Fall Variable Schedule as early as July and the Spring Variable Schedule around the first of October.

4. If the class I am looking for is not offered in the current semester, can I find out if it will be offered next semester?

There is no way of knowing in advance what will be listed in the schedule. Each college is responsible for listing its courses in the schedule, and there is no specific deadline. Theoretically, colleges may add them right up until registration. Check the schedule every few days for the course you're looking for.

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Registering for a Course

1. How do I register for a course?

To take courses provided through VCT, students enroll at their local community colleges, not the Provider College. The first step is to contact the distance learning office at your local college. This office will reserve the space with the provider college for you. You may contact the distance learning office by calling the number included on the list of colleges accessed by clicking contact your local community college. After a space is reserved you must still register at your local college, following it's normal procedures.

2. When is the best time to register for a VCT course?

The best time to register for a course is as early as possible. Getting into a VCT course can take more time than getting into a locally-offered distance learning course. Your local college (the host college) must first reserve space in a provider colleges' course, and they can do that as soon as it shows up in the online schedule. After you have a space reserved in the course, you still must go through your local college's registration process. The process of registering for a VCT course can take a little more time than registering for a locally provided course because it requires time for communication between the Host and Provider colleges.

3. If a course is listed as "full" at the website, can the Host College enroll me anyway?

No. Additional enrollments after a class is full require the permission of the providing college. Such permission is rarely given except in very dire situations, such as when a student must have a specific course to graduate in the current semester. And even then permission to enroll may not be given.

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4. How do I know if I have registered for the course? What if I haven't heard from the instructor?

VCT member colleges do not have uniform procedures for confirming that VCT students are enrolled in a class. But here are some guidelines on how you should respond if you have concerns about that issue.

  • Typically, the local college where you register for VCT classes will send some sort of enrollment confirmation before the class start date. If you do not receive anything, you should contact the VCT Coordinator at that college (your local college). You may find Coordinators' phone numbers and email addresses by selecting View VCT Contacts.

  • Some provider colleges' distance learning offices send information and orientation packets to students at host colleges (your local college) before the class start date. At other colleges, course information may come from the instructor.

  • A day or two before a class start date, you should send an email to your instructor stating that you are enrolled in the class through VCT, and your name should be on VCT online class roster. (You may find the instructor’s name and contact information on the Course Listing Form associated with each course in the VCT online schedule. Click the course title to open the Listing Form.) Do not necessarily expect a reply to that email. Some instructors communicate with their students before the official start date of the class. Others wait until the start date.

  • If you do not hear from your instructor on or before the class start date, send him/her a polite email stating that you are enrolled in the class through VCT and are waiting for instructions on how to proceed.

  • If you do not get a response within twenty-four hours, contact the VCT Coordinator at the PROVIDER college and inform the Coordinator that you have not heard from the instructor for your course and inquire about what you should do. You may find Coordinators' phone numbers and email addresses by selecting View VCT Contacts.

5. How much do classes cost?

If you live in the taxing district of the local college that serves your area, you pay the college's in-district tuition. If you live outside the district, you pay out-of-district tuition, which is somewhat higher than in-district tuition typically. Some colleges also may charge an additional VCT or distance learning fee. Financial assistance from your local college (such as Pell Grants, student loans, or scholarships) may be applied to VCT course tuition and materials.

6. What do the starting dates mean?

"Starting date" means the date that a course officially begins. Course start and end dates vary from college to college based on their respective academic calendars. The schedule of coursework, assignments, and due dates are determined by individual instructors at the Provider Colleges.

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After Your Class Begins

1. What typical resources are available at the VCT Host College?

VCT host colleges are responsible for providing student support services to you as a VCT student. These services might include: learning resources (library), tutorial, counseling, financial aid, computer lab access, testing and any other similar service provided by the college. Students should visit their local college's website or contact their VCT coordinator for information regarding hours of operation and availability of various services.

2. How do I get textbooks for my courses?

Ask your college's VCT Coordinator how you should acquire your books: from the local college's bookstore, from the provider college's bookstore, or from some other source, such as an online bookstore. However you purchase your textbooks, make sure that you have the correct ISBN number(s) for the book(s). Each book's ISBN number is included with the textbook information on the Course Listing Form associated with each course in the VCT online schedule. (Click the course title in the schedule to see the Listing Form.) You may find the email address and phone number for your local college's VCT Coordinator by clicking "View VCT Contacts" on the VCT student area page.

3. Where and how do I take tests for my course(s)?

Testing for VCT courses typically takes place at the host college in a proctored environment, usually a testing center. Procedures for taking exams vary from college to college. Contact your local college's VCT Coordinator for testing instructions, allowing comfortable lead time before you are supposed to show up somewhere for a test. You may find the email address and phone number for your local college's VCT Coordinator by clicking View VCT Contacts.

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Grades

1. How do grades work with VCT?

Toward the end of a semester, your local college sends a grade roster with your name on it to the college that is providing the course you enrolled in through VCT. The provider college's instructor records the grade you earned on the roster and returns it to your local college's VCT Coordinator. Your local college, then, adds that course and grade to your transcript.

2. Why did I receive a grade of incomplete when I finished my course(s) by the end of the semester?

The start and end dates of a semester are not the same at all colleges. If a provider college's course ends later than the semester of your local college (the host college), your local college will give you a grade of Incomplete because it did not receive a grade from the provider college before its semester ended. When the provider college sends the grade, however, it will replace the Incomplete initially given by your local college.

3. If I graduate at the end of a semester in which I want to enroll in a VCT course, do I need to take any special actions?

Yes. Before enrolling in the VCT course you need, check the start and end dates of the course on the Course Listing Form (open it by clicking the course title in the VCT online schedule). If the VCT course you select ends after the semester of the local/host college where you are enrolled, check the online schedule to see if the same course is provided by another college with a course ending date that is compatible with your local college's academic calendar. If no other college provides the course through VCT and the course is required for you to graduate that semester, consult with your local college's VCT Coordinator. He/she may be able to make arrangements with the provider college with the late ending date so you can take the course with an understanding that the grade will be sent to your local college in time for you to graduate.

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