Online Courses: Buyer Beware!

There’s a definite trend toward offering more ways to complete college coursework online, resulting in more and more confusion for the student consumer who must choose an online course that meets that will fulfill a specific requirement.

SCCO does accept the online course format as a way to complete prerequisite coursework for classes that do not require labs.  The institution offering the course must be a regionally accredited college/university for the coursework to be accepted, and must be a non-profit institution.

Access SCCO’s comprehensive online course policy using this link

And now for the confusing part…

Some regionally accredited colleges/universities have online coursework offered through outside-contracted companies. The big tip off that these courses would not be acceptable is that they are not offered for college/university credit, but rather as “continuing education,” or “adult enrichment.”

Recently, as I was searching for an online human anatomy course for a student, I came across an offering on University of Cincinnati’s website.  It was through an agency—whom I will not name here for liability sake—that offers coursework through “Communiversity.” If one clicks through to this unnamed agency to see its website, it shows all the regionally accredited institutions with whom it is affiliated. The list was impressive!  In my current position as Assistant Dean of Admissions, I have been in higher education for 12 years now. Even I was confused about whether or not these courses were college/university level courses, and whether they were offered by a regionally accredited institution—both fundamentally necessary conditions.

In this current emerging market of commuter education, more and more hybrid courses and marketing jargon are making it even more difficult to make an online course choice.

So buyer beware!

Here is a list of institutions that offer courses accepted by SCCO that will fulfill our prerequisite requirements:

If you are ever in doubt about whether an online course is acceptable, feel free to email a course description and link to, and it will be reviewed and either denied or approved for acceptability.  This goes for any course, whether you’re planning to take it in the classroom or online.

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