Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Admissions and Online Courses
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Many admissions questions can be answered on the following pages, or below:
How to Apply?
- Is Charter Oak State College a regionally accredited institution?
- What is matriculation?
- Who do I contact if I need more information on admissions?
- What are the admissions requirements?
- How do I apply for admission to Charter Oak?
- Is there an application fee?
- Is there a deadline for applications?
- I have already applied. How do I check on the status of my application?
- What degrees are awarded?
- What majors do you offer?
- How long will it take me to earn my degree at Charter Oak?
- Can I complete a second bachelor's degree?
Earning & Transferring Credits
- How many Charter Oak credits do I need to take?
- Can I earn all of my credits at Charter Oak?
- Do I get credit for life/work experience?
- Do I get credit for my CEUs?
- Does Charter Oak accept international credits?
- How many of my credits will transfer?
- How much will it cost to earn my degree?
- Is financial aid available?
1. Is Charter Oak State College a regionally accredited institution?
Absolutely! Charter Oak State College is accredited by the New England Association
of Schools and Colleges. It is also accredited by the Connecticut Board of Governors
for Higher Education. The College was established in 1973 by the Connecticut Legislature
to provide an alternate way for adults to earn a college degree. Want to know more?
- please visit Our Advantages.
2. What is matriculation?
Matriculation occurs when you officially become a degree-seeking student at Charter
Oak State College.
3. Who do I contact if I need more information on admissions?
The Admissions Team can be reached by submitting the form on the Contact Us page, by sending an email to: email@example.com, or by calling (860) 515-3701 (Monday-Thursday from 8:30AM to 7:00PM EST and Friday
from 8:30AM to 5:00PM EST) You may also submit paper requests by faxing to (860) 760-6047
or by mailing to:
Admissions Office / Charter Oak State College
55 Paul J. Manafort Drive
New Britain, CT 06053-2150
Please also visit the Admissions page for more information.
4. What are the admission requirements?
Admission is open to any person 16 years or older, regardless of level of formal education,
who has earned nine acceptable college-level credits. International students should
review the International Admissions Policy.
5. How do I apply for admission at Charter Oak?
Applying online is the easiest and quickest way to begin the admissions process. Access
the online application or learn how to apply.
6. Is there an application fee?
Yes. Due to the time commitment that is necessary in processing each application,
there is a nominal application fee of $75
. Students receive an evaluation of their current credits and how they may fit into
a degree plan. For more information, please visit How to Apply.
7. Is there a deadline for applications?
No. Applications can be submitted at any time of year.
8. I have already applied. How do I check on the status of my application?
Please log in to your account in ACORN for more information.
9. What degrees are awarded?
Charter Oak is authorized to award the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
and four General Studies degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Associate
in Arts and Associate in Science. Please see Degree Completion for more information.
10. What majors do you offer?
The majors offered include Health Information Management and General Studies. Students
completing a general studies degree at the bachelor's level are able to "concentrate"
their degree in a specific discipline or combination of subjects. Our most popular
concentrations are workforce-driven and include: Business Administration, Information
Systems, Healthcare Administration, Public Safety Administration and Psychology.
Regardless of your area of concentration in a general studies degree, your diploma
will simply state that you have earned either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of
Science degree. Information about your concentration is provided only on your official
transcript. Please see Concentrations/ Fields of Study or Concentration Basics for more information. The major of Health Information Management will appear on your
11. How long will it take me to earn my degree at Charter Oak?
It depends on you and how much time you have available to commit to your education
each week. Our experience indicates that if you matriculate (enroll) with about 45
credits, you can finish your associate degree (60 semester credits) in less than a
year. If you matriculate with about 90 credits, you can finish your bachelor's degree
(120 semester credits) in 1-2 years. There are three graduation dates per year: May
31st, August 31st and December 31st. Please see Degree Completion Steps for an overview of the process.
12. Can I complete a second bachelor's (baccalaureate) degree?
Yes, you may pursue a second bachelor's degree, provided that degree is in a different
field of study from your current degree, and you have received permission from the
Provost. For more on this policy, please visit Second Baccalaureate Candidates.
13. How many Charter Oak credits do I need to earn?
Charter Oak has two academic residency requirements. The first is a 3-credit cornerstone
course required for students enrolled in either an associate or bachelor's degree
program at the college. The cornerstone course is taken in the student's first term
as an enrolled Charter Oak student. The second is a 3-credit capstone course required
of all students completing a bachelor's degree.
14. Can I earn all of my credits at Charter Oak?
It depends upon your choice of concentration. Charter Oak offers many online courses,
but it may not be possible to earn all the credits you need for your degree through
our courses. You can take courses at colleges and universities close to your home;
take tests to earn credits; and/or prepare a portfolio for assessment. You can also
utilize Charter Oak's contract learning option.
15. Can I get credit for learning or knowledge gained through experience?
Yes! Most people use the testing option to demonstrate what they have learned and
know through experience. However, if there is no standardized exam available in your area of expertise, and if this expertise is equivalent to college-level
work, you may want to investigate completing a portfolio assessment of your prior
learning. In our portfolio format you will be required to find college courses equivalent
to the knowledge you have acquired. You then provide relevant evidence and comprehensive
narratives which are used to validate your college-level expertise. Please visit Portfolio Overview for more information.
16. Do I get credit for my CEUs?
You do not receive direct credit for the CEUs you have earned. However, they can serve
as valuable background information when you are studying for an exam to earn credit
or when documenting knowledge in the portfolio process.
17. Does Charter Oak accept international credits?
Yes. In fact we have a very liberal policy when it comes to accepting International
credits. We simply require:
- A transcript/record, listing all courses taken and examination results.
- Applicants with international credits must also complete the Written Communication
requirement prior to being accepted to Charter Oak. Please see our International Admissions Policy for more information.
18. How many of my credits will transfer?
Charter Oak has a liberal credit transfer policy. We will accept most credits that
have been successfully completed at other regionally accredited institutions. This
includes up to 87 semester credits from regionally accredited, two-year colleges.
Exceptions include courses in physical education, freshman orientation, and developmental
courses. Please visit How to Apply to apply online and begin your credit evaluation.
19. How much will it cost to earn my degree?
19. How much will it cost to earn my degree? All students pay the application, semester-based
college fee, and graduation fee. How you earn your remaining credits will determine
your final cost. Please use the cost calculator for an estimate of tuition and fees In addition, the College offers Payment Plans
to help you manage costs. Visit Tuition and Fees for more details on college costs.
20. Is financial aid available?
Yes. Financial aid is available to degree-seeking students in the form of scholarships,
grants and/or loans. Certain types of aid, such as loans, must be paid back, generally
with interest. You may prefer to manage college costs through Charter Oak's convenient,
interest-free Payment Plans. Complete financial aid information is available in the
Financial Aid section of this site, or by calling (860) 515-3703.
Online Courses / Distance Learning FAQs
- Do I need to be matriculated at Charter Oak State College to take a distance learning
- Do I need to own a computer to take a distance learning course?
- Do I need to come to campus if I take a course?
- How long is each semester?
- Am I going to have an instructor and how can I get in touch with him/her?
- How is testing done?
- How many students are in a class?
- How are courses graded?
- What kind of assignments will I do in my course?
- How much time will I spend working on my course each week?
- How do I get my course materials and how much do they cost?
- Who do I contact if I have questions?
- How do I register for a course?
- When are the deadlines for course registration?
- How will I know that my Course Registration form has been received?
- What is the cost to take a distance learning course?
- Can I pay for my course with a payment plan?
- What if I'm applying for Financial Aid?
- What if I have never taken an online course and do not know how to do it?
- What are the computer requirements?
- What if I need technical support?
- If I am taking an online course is there a specific day or time that I have to go
- Where do I get my password for my online course?
- How do I log in to my BlackBoard (online) course?
- How do I withdraw from a course?
- How can I drop one course and pick up another?
- What if I need extra time to complete a course and need to request an extension?
- If I start a course but cannot complete it, do I get a refund?
- What is the IDS 101, Cornerstone Course?
- Why is the IDS 101, Cornerstone Course required?
- If I already transferred in credit from another institution for ENG 101 and 102, is
the IDS 101, Cornerstone Course required?
- How will I benefit from taking this course?
- How will Charter Oak State College benefit?
- How can I learn more about the content of the IDS 101, Cornerstone Course?
1. Do I need to be matriculated (enrolled) at Charter Oak State College to take a distance
No, anyone can take a course at Charter Oak State College. If you are taking a course
to transfer to another institution, you should check with that institution to make
sure that the course fits into your program of study. For information about matriculating
(enrolling) at Charter Oak, please visit How to Apply.
2. Do I need to own a computer to take a distance learning course?
You need reliable access to a computer if you want to take an online course.
3. Do I need to come to campus if I take a course?
For online courses, you do not have to ever physically visit Charter Oak State College.
Courses can be conveniently completed via computer with Internet access.
4. How long is each semester?
Two full semesters in the Fall and Spring run for 17 weeks with courses available
in 15-week or accelerated 5-week and 8-week timeframes. The College also offers its
accelerated online courses during two 8 week terms in the summer's 12-week semester.
5. Am I going to have an instructor and how can I get in touch with him/her?
Yes, all courses have instructors who are available by telephone or e-mail to answer
questions about the course. Their e-mail addresses can be found in the course descriptions,
which can be accessed by visiting the Course Search page, searching for the course, and then clicking on the resulting link.
6. How is testing done?
Accelerated courses and some online full-term courses have examinations built into
their courses or have a final paper or project instead of a final examination.
7. How many students are in a class?
Class size varies from 6 - 40 students. Charter Oak's faculty to student ratio is
8. How are courses graded?
Charter Oak State College has an Institutional Grading Policy for all courses.
8a. What kind of assignments will I do in my course?
Courses typically require students to complete reading and writing assignments, participate
in group discussions, complete quizzes and tests, and complete summary projects or
research papers. Many of the courses utilize a team approach in which students may
be assigned to complete a "group project." Most courses are three or four semester
credits. Check your course syllabus for more information about the required assignments.
8b. How much time will I spend working on my course each week?
Any three-credit course requires approximately 135 hours of computer and study time,
regardless of the length of the course. Three-credit courses that run in eight or
five weeks require the same amount of work as 15-week courses, only condensed into
a shorter time frame. Therefore plan your study time accordingly.
9. How do I get my course materials and how much do they cost?
The College has arranged with MBS Direct to inventory the required materials for most
courses. Visit the Bookstore.
10. Whom do I contact if I have questions?
Contact the Registrar at (860) 515-3702 or firstname.lastname@example.org
11. How do I register for a course?
Registration is easy, and can be completed through the Course Search page. For detailed information on registering, please see How to Register.
12. When are the deadlines for course registration?
Course registration ends the Wednesday at 4:00 PM, EST, prior to the start of courses.
In general it is best to register early to ensure your place in the course.
13. How will I know that my Course Registration form has been received?
When you register online using the ACORN student portal, your registration/schedule information will be displayed while you are logged in.
Your courses will have a status of 'Preregistered' on your schedule until payment
information has been confirmed. Once payment has been confirmed, your course status
will change to 'Current'. Charter Oak no longer sends out confirmation emails to students
after they register for courses; students will be able to view their schedule information
in the student portal.
14. What is the cost to take a course?
Courses are charged based on a per credit rate. Please see the Tuition & Fees page for more information. Non-credit courses have their own special rates which
can be found on that course's "Course Information" page, which can be accessed by
visiting the Course Search, searching for the course in question, and clicking on the Course Number & Title.
15. Can I pay for my course with a payment plan?
Yes. Courses can be paid through an interest-free Payment Plan for a small fee. Please
visit the Payment Plan page for more information.
16. What if I'm applying for Financial Aid?
Information about Charter Oak's financial aid program is available at Financial Aid. Financial Aid students will register online in the ACORN student portal once their Financial Aid award has been confirmed.
17. What if I have never taken an online course and do not know how to do it?
All online students are required to view Charter Oak's online course demonstration prior to enrollment during the IDS 099 Orientation. It can also be viewed at any
time in the ACORN portal. This demonstration will show students the basics of how to navigate the course software.
Students should have some general computer knowledge before starting a course. Our
learning partner, the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC), provides helpful
resources for students new to online learning, including a list of top 10 considerations for taking an online course, a short readiness questionairre, and a simple course on "Basic Online Skills."
18. What are the computer requirements?
As of December 1, 2010, Charter Oak's online courses take place in an online system
called Blackboard Learn (Blackboard version 9.1). View the general computer requirements for using Blackboard 9. Be sure to scroll down to see the requirements for Blackboard 9.
In addition to meeting the computer requirements, students should possess general
computer knowledge before starting a course. To see the minimum requirements for computer
skills and knowledge, explore the CTDLC's course, "Basic Online Skills." These skills will also be explored in the pre-enrollment online IDS 099 Orientation.
19. What if I need technical support?
Technical Support is provided to the college community by the CTDLC and is available
seven days a week at our Help Desk. For critical issues requiring immediate assistance, please call (860) 515-3710,
or toll-free outside of the Hartford, CT area at (866) 462-8352 (1-866-GO CTDLC). You can also search the Knowledge Base, create a ticket to report a problem
or ask a question, and chat live with online support when available.
20. If I am taking an online course, is there a specific day or time that I have to go
Our online courses are "asynchronous," which means students can log in to their course
any time during the week to do course work. However, students will have weekly assignments
that must be completed on time. For example, all online courses include a "threaded
discussion," to which students post contributions during the week. Some courses include
weekly team assignments that may require students to "meet" online at a specific time
agreed to by the team members (synchronously).
21. Where do I get my password for my online course?
Your Blackboard user name and password are the same as your ACORN and Charter Oak
22. How do I log in to my online course in Blackboard?
Go to http://bb.charteroak.edu/. Type in the username (your Charter Oak Email address) and password assigned to you.
Click on the course title in the "My Courses" list at the right side of the screen,
and away you go! If you need help logging in, contact Technical Support (see answer
#19 above for contact information). Courses become visible to enrolled students in
Blackboard four (4) calendar days before the course begins.
23. How do I withdraw from a course?
Fill out the online Course Withdrawal Form on ACORN.
24. How can I drop one course and pick up another?
If you want to substitute a course for which you have registered, you may do so until
the end of the second day of the course (11:59, PM, EXT) by using the ADD/DROP feature
in ACORN. It is not possible to add a course after the registration period ends. The withdrawal
policy goes into effect after day 2 of the course.
25. What if I need extra time to complete a course and need to request an extension?
Extensions may be granted only under special circumstances. The mentor's responsibility
during a student's extension is limited to correcting assignments and exams. To request
a short extension, the student should:
26. If I start a course but cannot complete it, do I get a refund?
- Contact the mentor and receive permission to apply for an extension before the course
- Complete the Request for Incomplete Grade (PDF) form before the course ends and email it to email@example.com.
You may receive a tuition refund depending on when you withdraw from the course. Payment
plan and College fees are non-refundable. For complete information, see the Academic Calendar
27. What is the IDS 101, Cornerstone Seminar?
The Cornerstone course is a degree requirement and one of the "first" courses newly
matriculated COSC students will pursue. This course will provide you with an in-depth
understanding of the nature of the COSC degree and keys to success in an online program.
28. Why is the IDS 101, Cornerstone Seminar required?
The Cornerstone course will help all COSC students understand expectations around
written communication and critical thinking in college-level online courses. As such,
IDS 101 will help prepare you for success in the writing-based online environment
along with your academic planning.
29. If I already transferred in credit from another institution for ENG 101 and 102,
is the IDS 101, Cornerstone Seminar required?
Yes, in fact, ENG101 is a prerequisite for IDS 101. The IDS 101 Cornerstone course
will refresh students who have been away from the college classroom for some time
with written communications and critical thinking skills. A student requiring additional
strengthening of writing skills based on completion of the Criterion assessment will
also take the ENG 100 Writing Refresher course prior to IDS 101.
30. How will I benefit from taking this course?
You will benefit from the cornerstone course by:
- Gaining an in-depth understanding of the COSC degree and the keys to success in an
- Completing one of the key degree requirements, the Concentration Plan of Study (CPS),
in a timely manner
- Meeting the general education requirement for Information Literacy;
- Developing a sense of ownership and direction in your coursework and concentration,
which will position you to succeed in the capstone course (bachelor's students) which
you will be required to take at the end of your degree
- Sharpening your skills as a writer, critical thinker and problem solver - all of which
are necessary skills in the online learning environment.
- Strengthening your skills in searching, researching, and evaluating sources, and incorporating
these sources into your contributions to the classroom; and
- Enhancing your ability to be an engaged, self-sufficient, and self-motivated learner.
31. How will Charter Oak State College benefit?
As an institution of higher learning, COSC will benefit in the following ways from
requiring newly matriculated students take this course by acquainting students with
the resources available to them and helping to ensure that they are ready and equipped
to learn in the online environment.
32. How can I learn more about the content of the IDS 101, Cornerstone Course?
To learn more about the Cornerstone course requirement, view the IDS 101 Cornerstone Course syllabus.