Is online learning right for me?


We understand that online classes may not be for everyone. Some learners prefer in-person connections with instructors and classmates. But, sometimes you may not be able to come to campus, or an online course may fit better with busy work and family schedules. 

We want to assure you that our online campus provides the same academic rigor, expert instruction from seasoned faculty, opportunities to connect with classmates, and support services you’ll get when enrolled in face-to-face classes. Taking classes online may not be as bad as you think… in fact, it may help you reach your goals faster!

It might be helpful to highlight characteristics an online learner should possess.

  • Are you a self-directed learner?
  • Are you comfortable asking questions?
  • Can you stay motivated?

If you answered yes, then you should be successful taking classes online. 

What kind of technology do I need?  What if I’m not very tech-savvy?

At a minimum, you will need to have access to a computer and a good, reliable internet connection. Most of today’s laptops or desktops should be just fine. We do not recommend relying solely on an iPad or other tablet for your school work. They’re great for taking notes, creating and annotating readings, but not as good for typing lengthy papers or using specialized software.

Similarly, while Chromebooks are a popular option for many students, they are not always compatible with specialized software that you may need for some classes. Check with your advisor or a faculty member first to be sure.

Of course, students with some existing technology skills will be able to better navigate the tools and systems that support online learning at COTC. If you’re unsure about your tech skills, take this online readiness assessment to learn more.

Do online classes cost more?

No, our online classes are covered by the same tuition and fees policies as other courses. You can learn more about the cost of a COTC education on this webpage.

As is the case with all major financial decisions, you should speak with a student financial services representative to understand costs of various programs, ways to pay for college, and how starting college may affect your personal financial situation.

How do I get started with online learning?

All COTC students will go through the same application and enrollment process.

Once you’ve chosen your program of study and completed your orientation, you can begin scheduling online classes (if available). You’ll need to meet with your academic advisor to discuss which classes to take and in what order.

You can recognize online classes in our course catalog by looking for an “N” in the section number (e.g., DMD-103-NA) and a computer/globe icon near the course title ( Icon of a computer.)

The “locations” column will also give you information about the format of the course. You’ll notice that we have a variety of options available, including face-to-face, live Zoom video sections, classes offered in both formats and, of course, classes that you complete on your own schedule. Again, we recommend speaking with your academic advisor about which courses are right for you.