Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Traits of Successful Online Students?

  • Self-motivator
  • Not a procrastinator
  • Ability to stay on task without prompting
  • Ability to read and follow written directions
  • Works well alone
  • Not easily distracted
  • Organized
  • Good communicator
  • Good computer skills

Is Online Learning Right for Me? (Self-Test)

How Much Time Do Online Courses Take?

Plan to spend at least 10 - 12 hours per week on each online course. This time can vary depending on your reading speed and comprehension, computer skills and how well you grasp the concepts of the topic. Online courses are not self-paced, but you may do your course work at times convenient for you within the course deadlines.

Do I Need to Be Online at a Certain Time?

Not usually. Some instructors do require students to be online at specific times for chats. It is best to check with the instructor prior to registering for the course.

Do I Need to Register for Online Orientation?

Completion of the Educational Technology (ET) Orientation is REQUIRED for ALL NEW BC3 Online students or any student enrolled in an online or hybrid class who has not taken the Online Orientation in the past two years. All new to BC3 online or hybrid students will receive an e-mail of login instructions and information about the mandatory online orientation about one week prior to a semester start.
(For more information about the online orientation go to and click on Online Orientation.)

All PRAXIS/PAPA non-credit students will access the orientation in their courses on the first day of classes. However, enrollment in an online or hybrid credit course will require the student to complete the ET Online Orientation, also.

Do I Need a Textbook for an Online Course?

Most Online courses do have a textbook requirement. You can check with the BC3 Bookstore at to find out what textbook and/or materials you need for each course. You can order all online and hybrid course materials from the BC3 Bookstore either in person or online. Click here for directions on how to find the books you need for your courses.

How Are Online Courses Delivered?

BC3 uses a Learning Management System (LMS) called Blackboard.
  • Online:
    An online course primarily uses the Internet, the College’s Learning Management System (Blackboard), and other web‐based applications for all instruction, activities, assessments, and class interaction.
  • Hybrid:
    A hybrid course is essentially an online course, but also requires four (4) or more on‐campus sessions. These on‐campus sessions may be used for any combination of lectures, discussions, presentations, labs, on‐campus examinations, and so on. Required on‐campus session dates are listed on the Credit Course Schedule.
  • iTV:
    An iTV course is a traditional, on‐campus course taught by one instructor but delivered to two separate classrooms simultaneously using video conferencing technology and televisions and/or computers with Internet, video and audio capabilities. iTV courses may require assignments and assessments be completed online outside of the regular class time through the College’s Learning Management System (Blackboard).
PLEASE NOTE: All BC3 Distance Education courses follow the same start date, end date, midterm and final exam schedule as all other BC3 credit courses (unless otherwise noted) and have set deadlines for assignments and testing.

How Do I Register for Online or Hybrid Courses?

If you are a new student, who has not yet applied, go through the Admissions Office. If you are a current student or a newly accepted student, you may meet with an advisor.

Registration for Distance Education courses is the same as traditional courses. Contact the BC3 Registrar at 724.287.8711 ext. 8253 or register online through the MyBC3 Portal. Students pay the regular tuition and fees for all distance education courses.

Online and hybrid courses will be charged an additional fee per credit hour. See Online Courses – Additional Cost Per Credit on the Tuition & Fees page. Some courses may require proctored exams or other methods of identity verification. Additional fees may apply.

Will Online or Hybrid Courses at BC3 Transfer to Another College or University?

Online and hybrid courses are listed on your BC3 academic transcript just like any other courses. There is no online or hybrid designation. 70% of BC3 Students transfer their BC3 credits to a 4-year University.

  • Before you take any course, find a transfer friendly program that interests you.
  • Speak to your Advisor or to a Transfer Counselor.
  • Decide which 4 year institution you want to attend and contact their Transfer Admissions Office.
  • Stop by the University Partnership Center in the BC3 Student Success Center to speak to a University representative so you take the classes that do transfer to where you want to attend.

Do I Need to Own a Computer to Take Online or Hybrid Classes?

It is highly recommended that students have their own computer but not required. However, students enrolled in online or hybrid courses are expected to have regular and unrestricted access to an up‐to‐date computer system (Windows or Macintosh) and a reliable broadband Internet connection (cable, DSL, T1/LAN). A dial‐up connection is not reliable and NOT recommended. Tablet computers (including iPads and Chromebook), smart phones, and some Internet browsers may not be compatible. (See Personal Computer Requirements.)

Campus computer labs are available at specific times for all students to complete classwork; however, these labs run on a virtual thin-client environment. Some software and web-based applications will not run in the virtual thin-client environment and/or installation of the application on a virtual server may not be permitted by the software manufacturer.

PLEASE NOTE: Technical problems with a student’s computer, browser settings, firewall settings, Internet Service, or anything not working, other than BC3 Technology or Blackboard® non-scheduled outages is not a valid reason for missing class work or deadlines. Always have a backup plan in case of technical problems.