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Credit Programs for Part-time Students

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my lessons?

When you enroll in a CCO course, you will receive information on how to access the course website through the Sakai Learning Management System. You’ll log in with your UNC-Chapel Hill Onyen and Onyen password.

How do I get my textbooks?

Most textbooks are available from Friday Center Books & Gifts, a bookstore operated by UNC Student Stores at the Friday Center, and can be purchased in person, by fax, by mail, or online. Your course description will state if materials need to be purchased elsewhere.

How much time will I spend on my course?

CCO courses are equivalent to those taught on campus, and you can expect to spend at least as much time on an online course as you would in a traditional setting. You can expect to do a significant amount of reading and writing, and you may need to log in to your course and check the discussion forum daily. As a rule, you should anticipate two to three hours of work each week for every credit hour the course is worth. For example, for a typical three-hour course you should expect to spend at least six to nine hours working on that course every week. If you are taking more than one course, then you should expect to spend that amount of time on each course each week.

How will I communicate with my instructor?

Communication methods vary from course to course, but most instructors use email and discussion forums as their primary contact methods. Please note that our courses are taught in English and you need to be proficient in reading and writing English.

How many courses can I take at one time?

If you are a full-time UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate, you can take one course during the fall and spring semesters. You can take two courses in the 1st summer session and two courses in the 2nd summer session, or up to eight credit hours for each summer session.

If you are a part-time UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate or a UNC-Chapel Hill student trying to regain eligibility, you can take two courses during any semester or summer term. If you are trying to regain eligibility, you’ll need advisor or dean approval.

If you are a UNC-Chapel Hill post-baccalaureate student or are unaffiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill, you can take three courses per semester or summer term as long as you have taken at least one Carolina Courses Online course previously and earned at least a C in the course.

Do online courses count toward a degree?

Courses taken through Carolina Courses Online (CCO) and Self-paced Courses (SPC) carry the same credit as courses taught in the classroom. However, the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill only allows eight CCO and/or SPC courses (24 credit hours) to count towards a degree in Arts and Sciences.┬áNote also that no more than two CCO/SPC courses can be taken in a student’s major or minor field of study. To take a Self-paced Course, UNC-Chapel Hill students need the written approval of an Arts and Sciences advisor or dean.

Do I have to meet with my class?

For most CCO courses, you will not meet with your class in person; all course work is done online. Some courses have scheduled online meetings on a periodic basis. We offer a few blended online and classroom courses with some required meetings on campus. These blended courses are clearly marked in the course description.

May I audit CCO courses?

No, as a student, you are not permitted to audit CCO courses.

Will I have to take tests?

The requirements vary from course to course, but many courses have midterms and final exams. Some courses require that the final exam be taken under supervision at an approved testing site.

Are online courses harder than classroom courses?

Online courses are a different way of learning. They require self-discipline and motivation in order to meet deadlines and complete required work. Some students enjoy the flexibility of online courses and the opportunities they provide for reflection and independent learning. Other students miss the immediacy of a classroom and its opportunities for communicating face-to-face with classmates and teachers. Most students agree that online courses require hard work and determination, but that the benefits of successfully completing them are great. These are college-level courses, and you should be at least a rising senior in high school to enroll.

Do I need to know a lot about computers?

Carolina Courses Online are designed to be accessible to people with a wide range of experience using computers, so you don't need to be an expert. You will need to be comfortable sending email and using the web. You'll also need to become familiar with posting messages to a discussion forum, and it is likely that you will be creating documents and attaching them to emails.

Do I need to know a lot about the Internet?

Web research and websites play a significant role in most courses. If you are a novice web user, you should spend some time at the start of the course learning to use your browser and search engines like Google. Make sure you are familiar with your word-processing software, such as Word, and know who your Internet service provider is. Your course will have a Contacts section to guide you in finding help.

Can I get an accommodation if I have a disability?

If you are a student with a documented learning disability or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, you can receive assistance through ADHD/LD Services. If you have a documented disability, you can receive services through the Department of Accessibility Resources & Service. You must self-identify through Accessibility Resources to receive services or accommodation from either of these offices. Accessibility Resources works closely with programs, offices, and departments throughout the University to help create an accessible environment.

The office is located in Suite 2126 of the Student Academic Services Building (SASB), 450 Ridge Road, and is open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. You can contact them by phone at 919-962-8300 (V) or 711 (NC-RELAY) or by email at accessibility@unc.edu. For more information, visit the Department of Accessibility Resources & Service.

Am I likely to encounter technical problems?

Carolina Courses Online uses tested software and straightforward page design to help keep technical problems to a minimum. CCO courses are offered through the University's Sakai learning management system, which works best when viewed using the Firefox browser. Many times, problems can be solved by installing the most recent version of Firefox. Sakai is fully support by ITS, and their Help Desk (help.unc.edu) is there to help you solve technical problems twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. If you encounter a technical problem that you and ITS are unable to resolve, please contact Student Services.

Can I get financial aid for a CCO course?

If you are a part-time degree-seeking student who has applied for financial aid at Carolina, you could be eligible for funds to cover your online course. For information, call a Friday Center advisor at 919-962-3449 or email ceadvising@unc.edu.