Online Programs FAQs

If you're considering taking online courses for the first time, you probably have a few questions.  We've assembled answers to the questions most frequently asked by online students. 

Who is an ideal online student?

The characteristics of an ideal online student include someone who is motivated and is an independent learner.  You must be able to set study goals to ensure that all assignments are not only completed on time, but meet the standards set forth by the instructor.  In addition, you must be disciplined and resourceful. Disciplined, because an online course offers a huge amount of flexibility and you must be able to keep procrastination to a minimum. Students must be resourceful because there may be times when an instructor isn’t available to answer questions, so it is vital for you to be able to conduct your own research.

How is online studying different?

You will generally spend more time studying in an online course. This is because the majority of an online class is reading based. In addition, to communicate with your instructor and other students, you must type messages, post responses or email. Reading or viewing lecture materials can take more time than listening to an instructor deliver them traditionally, and you won’t be able to ask questions in “real time”.

How important are writing skills in an online course?

Strong writing skills are vital to your success in many online courses. Writing replaces much of the speaking you would do in the classroom. Most online courses require frequent written posts to discussion boards.

Are these "real" courses?

Yes, an online class is just as academically demanding as a traditional class, and the credits awarded are the same regardless of the format of the course.

How do I interact with my instructor?

You and your fellow students will interact with each other in a variety of methods. These interactions can be guided introductions in a discussion group, filling out an online profile, or other activities designed to increase social interaction between you and your classmates. You will also complete instructional assignments that promote reflection and discussions. Other activities may require you to work with another student collaboratively, share results, and submit these results to the instructor or the class.  Most of these interactions will be via discussion posts and email, however they can include video or other media.        

Does SCTCC have accessibility services?

Yes.  Accessibility Services at St. Cloud Technical & Community College facilitates access to services, programs, and activities to enrolled or admitted students who have a documented disability.  One of our primary goals is to ensure that students have equal access and equal opportunity to all educational opportunities.  We will be happy to talk with you about reasonable academic accommodations to support you.  For more information on the process for requesting accommodations, please visit our Disability Services.

Will the SCTCC credits I earn transfer to the other campuses?

Yes, General Education credits completed at SCTCC with a grade of “D” or better will transfer to other MinnState campuses.  However, it is always up to the receiving institution how the credits will be applied.

Technical credits may transfer but it will be up to the receiving institution what will transfer and how they will be used.   

Do I have to take the Accuplacer?

All students are required to take the Accuplacer placement test unless they are able to be exempt from testing. Some of the ways for students to be exempt include previous Accuplacer scores, qualifying scores in the ACT, MCA or SAT tests and completed General Education level coursework. Call our testing center at (320)308-6007 for more information. 

Learn more about the Accuplacer at   

Can I take the Accuplacer closer to home?

Yes, there are many testing sites all across the country where students can complete the Accuplacer placement test. In order to test at a different site, you will need to first obtain a testing voucher code. Call our testing center at (320)308-6007 for more information.     

How long does the application process take?

Once a student has a completed application, including the application and paid or waived application fee, the admissions office will review their application and notify students within 7-10 days.

Do I need to come to campus to sign up for classes?

No.  There are many ways to register for courses which include email, in person, and over the phone.

What programs does SCTCC offer completely online?

What if I have questions or need technical support?

Questions about Student Technology services should be directed to the Open Computer Lab at 320.308.6445, and for any computer hardware or operational issues contact the Computer Help Desk at 320.308.5972, Northway Building Room 1-215. Questions can also be emailed to

For more information, visit: Student Help Desk 

Admissions staff are available to answer your questions.  Admissions: SCTCC Main Building Room 1404