Is this a cohort-based program?
A cohort is a group of students admitted at the same time into a program and enroll in all of their courses together. Although building an online learning community is very important in distance education, we realize that all students may not be able to maintain a schedule of more than one course per term. For this reason, the program is NOT a cohort-based program.
Is on-campus attendance required?
No on-campus attendance is required to complete the program. All courses are delivered via the Internet and can be accessed anywhere from a viable Internet connection.
Is synchronous attendance required?
Some courses in the program do require students to meet online at the same time to participate in synchronous whole-class or small group activities. Any required meetings will be announced in each individual class.
What hardware/software is required to participate in the program?
At a minimum, participants must have ready access to a desktop or laptop computer that meets or (preferably) exceeds the NC State recommendations for computers you already own. While this configuration is sufficient, we recommend that students upgrade their current machine or consider purchasing a computer that meets (or exceeds) the recommendations for new computer purchases.
Connectivity: At a minimum, students must have dial-up access with a 56k modem. To improve access speed and enhance the playback quality of video/audio materials, we strongly suggest that students who are accessing courses from home consider investing in a high speed Internet service.
Educationally priced software is available for purchase at the NC State Bookstores. Students must have access to a Web browser. Several browser plug-ins are required for each course (Acrobat Reader, Flash, RealPlayer, etc.). You will be informed of the plug-in requirements in each course.
Which course management systems or platforms are graduate certificate courses taught through?
Students will be using Moodle and the Blackboard Collaborate two-way audio conferencing tool.
Does the application process require taking an admissions test such as the GRE?
No, because the certificate is a non-degree program, an admissions test is not required.
Does the application process require a fee?
Yes, a $25 fee is charged to apply.
What are the costs involved in enrolling in the online program?
Current tuition information can be obtained through the office of Distance Education. You can access information about the cost of current distance courses at NC State Distance Graduate Tuition under the flexible access option.
In addition to tuition costs, you can expect an average of $50 to $150 per course in textbooks. Other costs may include some hardware and software you will need, depending on the status of your computer.
Is financial aid available to students enrolled in the certificate program?
Students enrolled in non-degree certificate programs are generally not eligible for financial assistance. To be eligible for financial aid, students must be enrolled in degree programs offered by the University. However, we recommend that you contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to find out if other options are available.
Is there a certain sequence or order in which courses must be taken?
The Capstone course (EAC 692) must be taken last. Other than that, courses may be taken in any order. No course is a prerequisite for any other course in the program.
How long will it take me to complete the coursework for the certificate?
Because the certificate is not sequenced, you have choices of how many courses to take per term and which courses to take. Most students are employed full-time and therefore try to take one or two courses each term, completing the certificate in 9-18 months. Students have up to 2 1/2 years to complete the program. Students are required to maintain continuous enrollment in the Fall and Spring semesters, but are not required to enroll in more than one course per term.
I went to register for a course, but it was full. Do I have to wait a year to take the course?
We cannot guarantee enrollment in a “closed” course that is full to capacity. Many online courses are capped at about 20-25 students to maintain the quality of student-instructor and student-student communication. Students should pay close attention to enrollment calendars to be sure they register when courses first open. This will help ensure you get into the courses you want without running into a “closed” course. A tentative Course Offering Schedule is provided to help you plan when you take your courses.
If I have to take a semester off or can’t get into a course I need, what happens?
It’s very important that students maintain continuous enrollment and take at least one course every fall/spring semester (excluding summer terms). If a student must take a fall/spring semester off for personal reasons or because they can’t get into a course that is needed, their account will automatically be placed on “inactive” status by the Registrar’s office. The student will be unable to register for future courses until they contact the program coordinator who must request the student’s account be reactivated through the Graduate School. If a student is inactive for a year or less, they will not have to reapply, just request their account be reactivated. If a student is inactive for more than a year, there is no way to reactivate their account and they must reapply to the certificate program.
After I’ve completed the required coursework, what do I do?
When all certificate coursework is completed, the student will apply to graduate through MyPackPortal as early as possible in the final semester of coursework. The certificate will be mailed approximately 4-6 weeks following the graduation date for each semester.
Can I transfer classes from my graduate certificate into a degree program?
Up to 12 hours of course work taken in the certificate program may be applied, under certain circumstances, to a graduate degree. Admission to a certificate program, however, carries no guarantee that the student will be admitted to the graduate school in any degree classification. Students who earn credits in a certificate program and are interested in transferring these credits to a graduate degree at NC State should contact the Program Coordinator in the degree program of interest.