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  1. What is the deadline for applications for non degree distance learning courses? 
     
  2. What computer hardware/software requirements are there?   
     
  3. Do you have to have an instant messenger type service?  
     
  4. Is a dial up connection to the Internet adequate?   
     
  5. What textbooks or supplemental printed materials must be purchased and how are they obtained?   
     
  6. Can you explain the mechanics of the program? For example: Are there actual lectures? Are they in real time? Are they visual or audio only? How often will they be and how long will they last? Are there specific times a student must be logged on for a lecture, discussion, or test?   
     
  7. Approximately how much time should be set aside to "excel" in the PHC Online courses, not just for the readings and test taking but for the assignments as well?  
     
  8. Is PHC Distance Learning accredited? Will my credits transfer from PHC Distance Learning to another institution?  
     
  9. What is the cost?  
     
  10. Is financial aid available?  
     
  11. Are there minimum age requirements for taking PHC Distance Learning courses?  
     
  12. Are SAT or ACT test scores required for the Distance Learning application?  
     
  13. Can I earn a degree through Distance Learning?


If your question is not answered on this page, contact us online or send your question to DistanceLearning@phc.edu.

 


1. What is the deadline for applications for non degree distance learning courses?

The deadline for Fall applications is usually around the middle of June. Spring applications are usually due around the middle of November, and Summer applications must be submitted by the middle of April. For this year's deadline calendar, please visit our Distance Learning Calendar. The online courses are filled on a first come first served basis and in some cases may reach capacity several weeks before the first day of class. Call PHC at 540.441.8110 for more information.

2. What computer hardware/software requirements are there?

PHC's online course management system is tested with and fully supports the following browsers:

  • With PCs running Windows OS: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera
  • With Macs running OS X: Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera

    In addition, several of the offered courses also require the ability to play and listen to audio lectures. Lectures are available in Mpeg Audio Layer (MP3) format and a streamed version of PowerPoint presentations.

Some professors put documents on their course web site in pdf format that will require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program.

3. Do you have to have an instant messenger type service?

Instant messenger programs are not required but it might be nice to have as an additional way to correspond with other students. Both Google's (GoogleTalk) and Microsoft's (Messenger) instant messengers are free to download.

4. Is a dial up connection to the Internet adequate?

You will not need more than a dial up connection to the Internet. Some of the classes will have electronic versions of the lectures available for download (see above). On a standard 56k modem with average connection speed it will not take more than 20 minutes to download a 50-minute lecture in MP3 format. The lecture presentations with audio (see above) are streamed which means you can watch and listen to it as it is downloaded but a broadband connection is still not necessary. Because of the audio formats we are using you will be able to listen to the lectures on your computer as many times as you want after they are downloaded.

5. What textbooks or supplemental printed materials must be purchased and how are they obtained?

The textbooks and/or supplemental materials will be required. These materials will be used by distance learning students in the same manner as used by traditional on campus students. Registered students will receive ordering information for their particular classes. Students will be able to order books online or over the phone. As an added benefit you may be able to purchase used books if they are available. If there is high demand for your textbooks you will be able to sell them back after the course is completed. Buy back is determined solely by the distributor and there is no guarantee that they will want to buy your book back. You will get a notice from the distributor near the end of your class notifying you of what books you have that they will buy back and what they will pay for them. The distributor will send you a prepaid shipping label and after they receive the books will send you a check.

Go here to view or buy textbooks for PHC distance learning classes.

6. Can you explain the mechanics of the program? For example: Are there actual lectures? Are they in real time? Are they visual or audio only? How often will they be and how long will they last? Are there specific times a student must be logged on for a lecture, discussion, or test?

The online components of all courses will mainly consist of communication between students with professors and fellow students. Some courses will have audio files of lectures available for download. Students will be given a syllabus that will outline their work. Papers will be written as they would on campus but will be submitted online and some quizzes and exams will be taken online with the use of proctors (qualified proctors will be required for exams; parents do qualify). All the students in your class will have the same deadlines for exams and papers and other assignments. This is the rule in order to better promote online class discussion. Class discussion is a very important aspect of PHC courses and will be required for online classes. Most class discussion for the DL program will take place in message boards. Although there will be fixed deadlines for certain requirements, it is important to us that the courses are flexible enough to allow for work and family commitments.

7. Approximately how much time should be set aside to excel in PHC Distance Learning courses? What will it take to do the readings, complete the assignments, study, take the tests?

The PHC Online courses are designed so that a college student can do well with about three hours of study per class hour per week. Because there is no classroom meeting time (nor is there commuting time!) in distance learning, the time normally spent in the classroom should be added to your anticipated study time. For a three-credit course, this equates to a total time investment of about twelve hours of work per week per course. That number will go up when you are preparing for an exam or writing a paper. (Regard this time estimate as only a guideline.) Much depends on your personal study habits, the type of learner you are, and how fast you retain and understand the course material. Some students can spend six hours a week on a class and earn an A, while others may spend fifteen hours per week and earn a B.

We have designed the courses so that you do not need to spend much time online. Just like a traditional college student, most of your work will take place offline. The Internet will be used for research, communication with professors and students, paper submission, and test-taking.

Keep in mind that PHC's freshman courses--whether taught on our physical campus in Purcellville or our virtual campus in the Distance Learning program--are offered at the college sophomore level. Our courses are designed to stretch you! Younger students may find it prudent to enroll in only one or two courses per semester so they can devote sufficient time to their studies.

8. Is PHC Distance Learning accredited? Will my credits transfer from PHC Distance Learning to another institution?

Patrick Henry College is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) [15935 Forest Road, Forest, VA 24551; Telephone: 434.525.9539; e-mail: info@tracs.org] having been awarded Reaffirmation 1 of its Accredited Status as a Category II institution by the TRACS Accreditation Commission on April 3, 2012; this status is effective for a period of ten years. TRACS is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). Please see Accreditation and Authorization for more information.

PHC's accreditation applies to both distance learning courses and our on-campus courses; there is no distinction. Whether PHC courses (either on-campus or Distance Learning) will transfer to another institution is dependent on the receiving institution. Colleges are not required to accept transfer credits and every college establishes its own transfer policies. Despite PHC's excellent academics and accreditation, not every college will accept PHC transfer credits. If you anticipate transferring your PHC credits to another college, familiarize yourself with the receiving institution's transfer of credit policy.

Please see our Statement on Transferring DL Credits for more details.

9. What is the cost?

PHC Online is competitively priced and reflects the quality of education expected from Patrick Henry College.

Our financial information can be found on our Distance Learning page, under Financial Information. Non-degree students also receive a 5% discount for being members of HSLDA. Cost of books depends on the class but generally ranges from $50 to $130 per class. Titles and prices for books for each class can be found in the PHC Virtual Bookstore.

Degree-seeking students (Campus@Home) pay the same tuition rates as on-campus students and are eligible for the same financial aid awards. For full details, please go to our Financial Aid page.

10. Is financial aid available?

Degree-seeking students (Campus@Home) are eligible for the same financial aid awards as on campus students. For full details, please go to our Financial Aid page

Financial aid is not available at this time for non-degree seeking students because of the lower cost of this enrollment option, except for a 5% discount for members of HSLDA.

Both degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students may be eligible for outside sources of scholarships and financial aid. Although the college does not accept government funding, there are many private sources of aid. Click here for information on private scholarship funds

11. Are there minimum age requirements for taking PHC Distance Learning courses?

The minimum age to be considered is 16.

12. Are SAT or ACT test scores required for the non-degree application?

If a student has taken the SAT or ACT, please have those scores sent to PHC directly from the testing agencies. In lieu of the SAT or ACT, another nationally-recognized standardized test is an acceptable alternative, along with a letter of recommendation from a teacher, sealed in an envelope with the author's signature across the seal. Our full degree seeking application does require SAT or ACT scores. See our information page on the Campus@Home program for details on the difference between these two applications.

13. Can I earn a degree through Distance Learning?

PHC currently offers approximately the first two years of its core curriculum online. Degree-seeking students may take as many courses towards their degree program as are offered online, but will need to transition to campus to complete the final two years of their education. 

If your question is not answered here, please send your question to DistanceLearning@phc.edu. Your question will typically be answered within 24 hours on business days.