Distance learning, including online instruction, and alternative and accelerated sessions make college more accessible to all students. Distance learning courses give students more options and more flexibility in selecting and scheduling classes and achieving goals. Alternative and accelerated sessions allow students to take classes on evenings, weekends, or in more flexible formats. Distance learning classes bring the best features of campus-based classes to a student’s home or workplace. Regular due dates for assignments, learning modules, and start and end dates that correspond with a semester pattern all add up to create a classroom that’s available without having to fight traffic or personal scheduling conflicts. For more information about distance learning offerings and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the college’s website at www.csmd.edu/OnlineLearning. Please note: A listing of CSM programs available online can be found in Appendix XI.
Online and Distance Learning Options
Online courses are designed to bring campus-based classes to students’ computers. The instructor provides information posted on a course web site that guides the student through course content, prompts discussions, and helps students keep pace with assignments. Due dates for assignments, a logical learning pattern, and start/end dates that correspond with a semester create a classroom that is available at a convenient time and place. Students may be required to take proctored exams or on-campus assessments at a testing center.
Web-Hybrid (Blended) Courses (WEBHY)
Web-hybrid courses blend on-campus instruction with web-based or other flexible learning options. Students meet on campus according to the published schedule of classes with approximately half of the course instruction and/or activities occurring online or in another of our flexible formats. Web-hybrid courses create flexible learning options while allowing students to regularly meet face-to-face with instructors and other students.
Web-enhanced courses are instructional methods, such as lectures and cooperative education experiences that use certain Blackboard tools, such as email or discussions. In a web-enhanced course, the class meets just as a traditional class, in a classroom, with an instructor, at the regular scheduled day, time, and location. All face-to-face courses have an online presence, which allows instructors to enhance class activities by posting supplemental materials or posting grades. Instructors may also use the web-enhanced component to communicate with students throughout the semester or to post announcements during emergency closings.
University of Maryland Academic Telecommunications Systems (UMATS)
UMATS classrooms permit students at distant locations to engage in interactive courses with the capacity for full-motion, real-time, two-way audio and video communication. Any number of distant sites may be linked in a broadcast mode, although interaction is limited to four sites at any time. All sites in the link see and hear the interaction, and the instructor can “engage” other sites during the session by prior arrangement. The peripheral equipment allows instructors to display graphics, computer files, and multimedia software and allows them to playback or record video or audio materials.
Maryland Online (MOL)
MOL courses are online courses offered by CSM that are provided by other community colleges. Students pay tuition to CSM and earn credit for the course from CSM.
Independent Study Courses
At the discretion of the division chair, students work cooperatively with a faculty member to plan and develop a course to meet their educational goals.
Alternative and Accelerated Sessions
The college offers credit and continuing education instruction throughout the year in a variety of times and formats In addition to the traditional fall and spring semesters, the college offers minisessions, Saturdays-only courses, weekend classes, self-paced courses, summer sessions a January term, and cooperative education courses. These alternative and accelerated sessions and formats make college more accessible to those who have busy schedules.
These courses are offered in short, seven-week sessions. Students can take courses during the two minisessions that are offered as part of the traditional fall and spring 15-week semester.
The college offers Saturdays-only courses during the traditional fall and spring semesters at all four campus locations. These courses allow students to combine the earning of credits with their busy weekday schedules.
The college offers a variety of weekend courses that give students the option to earn an associate’s degree or to supplement degree and certificate completion. CSM offers Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday courses.
Students are also able to earn an associate of arts degree in General Studies by attending classes offered exclusively on weekends (Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays) at either the La Plata Campus or Waldorf Center and by supplementing these courses with online courses. Students choosing this alternative format never have to enroll in weekday courses.
Self-paced courses are delivered via modules that allow students to work at their own pace under the guidance of a faculty member. Students are required to attend the orientation session, generally on the La Plata Campus, and may choose to complete class assignments in a college lab or from home or any other appropriately equipped site. There is no fixed attendance schedule. Faculty assistance is available during scheduled hours. Students may enroll in these courses monthly and are required to complete them within a defined time frame.
January Term and Summer Sessions
The college offers a January term and summer sessions allowing students to supplement their course work outside of the traditional fall and spring semesters. These options provide an excellent opportunity for students to enhance their credit earnings and to accelerate degree completion.
Cooperative Education Courses
Cooperative education (co-op) provides an opportunity for the student to apply academic theory to a professional work environment in the student’s program of study.
Service-learning combines service to the community with student learning in a way that improves both the student and the community. According to the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, Service-learning: 1) is a method whereby students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of communities; 2) is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students, or the education components of the community service program in which the participants are enrolled; and 3) provides structured time for students or participants to reflect on the service experience.
Students participating in service-learning projects will typically be in a course that requires or offers service learning as an option to another project in the course. Before the service takes place, students must complete a Liability and Release Form. This form can be found on the Integrative Learning Center web site, under “Service-Learning Orientation.” New forms must be filled out each semester. For more information, call 301-934-7642 or visit our website at www.csmd.edu/servicelearning.
Travel Study Courses
Go beyond the classroom with the College of Southern Maryland’s Travel Study courses. These courses provide an exciting opportunity to make memories, gain knowledge, and experience diverse cultures, all while earning college credits.