Stevens Henager College Online Student Orientation
What to Expect
During this Orientation you will learn:
How to succeed in an online course
What we expect of you
What you can expect from us
How to log in to your virtual classroom
How to get started in your class discussions
How to submit your assignments
Easy to understand traits to implement in your life that lead to success (8 to Be Great)
How to locate your weekly Collaborate sessions. (Collaborate is a software tool that let's you attend weekly live lectures or to watch those lectures recorded if you can't make the live session.)
The cartoon character above is Shelby. You'll see her in many courses. To see how we utilize the illustrated characters to help in your education, click this link (or type it into your browser) www.online-shc.com/characterbios.html
Always Available - Don't worry if it seems like you can't remember all of this. You can come back to this orientation at any point during your program.
Completion Expectation - You must successfully complete this presentation or walk the plank. (Seriously, successful completion is required by our accrediting body, the ACCSC, and Stevens-Henager.)
Time to Complete - This assignment should take approximately 35-45 minutes to complete. (Don't feel bad if you are faster or slower, it's just an estimate.)
Scoring - You'll have questions to complete as you go through this orientation. They are listed at the bottom of some pages as "self check." Click on that to get the question(s). They'll be scored. Don't worry about the score or the questions. They're nothing more than a simple effort to be sure you've completed the orientation and understand at least the basic message of it. At the end of the orientation is a place for you to enter your name. All you need to do is submit there so we can verify you have completed the orientation.
How to Do This - To navigate through the orientation, you'll be asked to click on stuff. If there is nothing to click on, scroll down the page after reading the content. When you can't scroll anymore, change the page. Page numbers are located at the top of each page. At the bottom of each page, you can advance to the 'next page' or 'previous page'. Use the scroll bar to the right to move up and down the pages. At the bottom of some pages will be a "self check". Click on that to make hit the key point(s) of the page.
Click "next page" to move on or click on the number "2" on the menu up top.
- Setting Yourself Up for Success
As an Online student you will need to:
Use a computer with Internet access - The Internet is the "building" where your "classroom" is located. You wouldn't want to attend school in a barn, the same is true for virtual learning. Try to have high-speed Internet available in your home or at least easy access to it. Using a library, a cafe, or a friend's house can work at times but is unlikely to be successful over the long haul.
Study regularly (regularly means almost daily) - We pride ourselves on helping you get your future career quickly. That means we move fast! In our experience, it helps most students to create a study schedule and stick to it. If you're less structured, that's fine, but you still need to study consistently and frequently. Online education is not easier than a classroom. In many ways, it's more challenging. You have to keep yourself motivated. Don't fall behind! Make study a priority.
Set up a designated study space at home - Even if you have limited space, you can create a box that holds materials. Pull it out when it's time to study. Clear the space of clutter. Limit distractions like television, running children, barking dogs, etc. You want to be able to focus. Avoid multi-tasking. You wouldn't want your surgeon to watch "Dancing with the Stars" while cutting out your appendix, helping his kids with homework, and folding laundry. You want your surgeon to do their best work and focus on you. It's the same with your education. Do your best by giving your best.
Online Student Expectations
Even on a pirate ship, there is work to do and most of it is reoccurring work. In our college, there are expectations for what we'll offer to you, what you'll give back, and what we'll do together. Here are the most important of those as you are starting school.
You are expected to:
Log in at least 4 days per week to your course--not just the Learning Studio. You'll often have two courses each module.
Participate in the Discussion Questions. All pirates fight. Nobody gets to sit back and just observe. Being involved is a critical part of learning and preparing for your future career.
Post all homework for the week on time. If you are late, you can post up to one week late with a 20% penalty. If there are exceptional circumstances, talk with your instructor about extra time or lessening the penalty. (Exceptional means a very rare situation and usually it's one that's out of your control.)
We are expected to:
Have all grades posted by the instructor by Wednesday of the following week.
Provide you with quality curriculum and interesting content that is applicable to your career.
Respond to you within 48 hours. Sometimes it seems like instructors live in the computer because they'll respond so fast. The truth is they have families and outside interests just like you. We try to respond faster than 48 hours but that is the minimum standards. If an individual does not respond to you within that time frame (Sundays & holidays excluded), please contact their supervisor or someone else. You can find a list of the Associate Deans and the Dean on SHARC (we'll explain SHARC in a bit).
Most importantly, remember it is your responsibility to communicate. You'll have a number of Stevens-Henager College people wanting to communicate with you. Among them are:
Instructor - They'll provide feedback in discussions and on assignments to help you improve. They may contact you separately to help you with the course.
Program Coach - A senior instructor, Department Chair, or Associate Dean will be assigned to you in the first week of your program. They'll be permanently assigned to guide your career preparation. Every four modules they'll review your portfolio preparation. Each module they'll contact you to be sure you're understanding your courses and how they relate to your future career. These are individuals who have been there and done that. They are proven, successful career professionals in your career field and exceptional instructors.
Advisors - Advisors help you deal with the little details of school (for example, getting your laptop, correcting technical issues, understanding basic financial aid questions, and so forth). They also help you manage the obstacles that will crop up. You may face significant relationship problems, health issues, job loss, and many other challenges that drain your time, motivation, and energy. Please trust us with these things. We've had many students successfully complete school and move on to great careers who experienced homelessness, incarceration, hospitalization, unemployment, divorce, substance abuse recovery, domestic abuse, and other severe issues.
Communication Methods and Requirements
You must stay in communication. This is the number one indicator of whether you will successfully graduate.
You can use a variety of ways to communicate with us. Please let your Advisor and Program Coach know which ways you prefer.The most common are:
- Important Reminders
You must log into your class. If you go more than 14 days in a row without logging into your class, you will be dropped from school (not to mention it would be very hard to succeed in the course missing almost half of it).
If you fail or withdraw from a class, you must retake it (which may result in additional tuition charges).
- Honor Your Three Commitments
Attend class - meaning view the live session or the recording each week and participate in discussions
Do your best - get homework in on time and if you can't, talk with the instructor about what to do and how
Meet your financial commitment. Pay any monthly amount you've agreed to on time. Students who pay each month tend to do better in school even if it's just a small amount.
In return, we'll honor our commitments to you. Dean David Cowsert, the head of academics for the college, personally commits to you that we will honor our responsibilities to you. If you feel we are not, feel free to contact him directly. E-mail works best. firstname.lastname@example.org * 801.281.7620 ext. 3550 * Skype: david.cowsert * He's also on our Facebook site and would welcome you as a friend David P Cowsert (he won't accept friend requests to his personal FB account [missing his middle initial] to keep some privacy but he'd love to hear from you with the professional one.)
Your Virtual Classroom
LearningStudio is an Internet-based virtual classroom that frees your ideas while providing structure and community. What the heck? That reads like an advertisement.Let's try again. If you were a carpenter, you'd need to know how to use a hammer, saw, and a drill. Learning Studio has the tools you will use in your online education to learn. Just like a hammer or saw, understanding the basics is pretty easy and you'll catch on fast. You'll also get better with practice.
Any web browser should work well with LearningStudio. Examples include Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Apple Safari. For computers you might use in addition to the laptop you'll receive from the school, you may wish to get one of these browsers if you don't have it already. (Clicking on the browser names above will take you to a webpage where you can download the most current version of the browser.)
Logging into LearningStudio
Note:You will not have access until you are registered for your first course, this is typically day one of the course rather than sooner. Dont' worry about lack of practice time, you can come back here any time you want and the instructors are all prepared for you to be learning the system in your first course.
LearningStudio login is accessed online at: online.learn.stevenshenager.edu .
Your LearningStudio login is typically:
Username: your first name "dot" last name
Password: your zip code
Note: There are a few exceptions to the username. If your login does not work, contact your Student Advisor immediately - they can look it up for you.
Submitting a Discussion Question
The discussion forum is one of the best proven methods of learning in online environments. The discussion forum is similar to having a classroom discussion, only now you have time to really think about your answer.
Discussion forums work best for everyone--including you--if you participate actively and in the right way. You wouldn't make chocolate chip cookies by simply throwing ingredients loosely on the cookie sheet and sticking it in the microwave. Likewise, simply posting the first thought in your mind or a "nice job" in a reply is not going to get you the results you want--or the grade.
Your first posting each week is typically due by 11:59 p.m. (Mountain time) on Wednesday. It should be 2-3 paragraphs and include both clear thought on the topic as well as a source to back up your thoughts. You'll then usually have to reply to two other students in your course before Saturday night at 11:59 p.m. Mountain time. Discussions are meant to go on all week and to be active, asynchronous areas to explore the topic.
Replies typically should do one of three things:
Extend the discussion deeper in the same direction
Respectfully challenge a position
Extend the conversation in a new but useful direction
Remember as you post, the goal is a career. Think about how the topic relates to your future career goals. What has happened in your past, right now, or in current events that is shaping the topic? In your reading of the text and other research, how has the topic been addressed?
The following will show you how to post discussions in Learning Studio.
- Click on Discussion in the sidebar menu:
- The instructor's post, along with posting guidlines are displayed. Click on Respond in the bottom left of the screen to open the message window.
- Enter a Subject and your response into the message window:
- Once text is entered click Post Response in the bottom right of your screen.
Submitting an Assignment
We'll walk you through submitting an assignment. You can come back to this later and review it again.
This is important information because if you don't get the assignment into the dropbox, the instructor doesn't know you've completed it. That can start a challenging chase to find where the assignment is, if it was completed on time, etc. Following these instructions saves you and the instructors from a lot of headaches.
- Click on Assignment in the sidebar menu:
- Access the dropbox by selecting the Dropbox tab in the Course Tools bar at the top of the screen:
- When the Dropbox page opens, click on the Submit Assignment link:
- From the Basket drop-down menu, select the Dropbox basket that corresponds with your assignment:
- Enter any information you need to provide your instructor in the text editor, or simply leave this area blank.
- Attach your document by clicking on the Add/Remove link:
- Then follow the prompts in the pop-up window:
- When your file has uploaded, it will appear as a link under Attachments:
- When you are finished, click on the Submit Assignment button:
Becoming the Professional You Want to Be
Okay, let's take a break from the technical stuff (it's important but a little boring). Please watch this video below. It's not just something cool. It reflects what employers are looking for regardless of what career you've chosen. Every six months we ask employers in each of our degree areas what they want and they always agree with this. (The video lasts about 6 1/2 minutes.)
(This is not produced by Stevens-Henager College but it's excellent.)
Collaborate - Your Live Classroom
As Shelby says above, the live sessions are really helpful. Sometimes the convenience of taking classes online can make us feel either that we're isolated and alone or that we can do it all alone. Both of these extremes are inaccurate. The live sessions provide instructors a terrific opportunity to share their special insights--insights they've gained from work in the career field. It's also a wonderful time for you to talk with other students and ask questions of the instructor.
If you can't attend the sessions live, they're recorded for you to watch when you can. The sessions are part of the regular instruction and you will be graded on whether you watch them or not. Additionally, the content of the sessions will often include material not covered in the text book or other places in the course. You definitely want to stay up on these sessions and will usually want to take notes as you watch and participate.
Interactive Learning Assignments (sometimes still called Study Guides)
In the Interactive Learning Assignments (ILAs) you get connected to activities, external media, and other learning aids to help you master the learning objectives for the week. Not many of our courses have the Interactive Learning Assignments but more do every module so if you see them, be prepared. Your instructor will also let you know when you have one in your course.
Sometimes it can seem like there is a lot to do in your courses. The truth is, there is a lot to do. It's necessary. We are aware of the demands on your time. We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen career so we work hard to balance the workload with the need to maintain steady progression to a goal set by your career. If the Interactive Learning Assignments or any other work you need to do for school seems overwhelming, or you don't understand how it connects to your career, talk to your program coach, instructor, or advisor and they will work with you to find answers.
Portfolio & Career Assignments
In each course you take, we have identified the one piece we believe is most likely to be useful in getting that new job you want. For many programs, like graphic arts, having a portfolio is essential to getting a job. Even in career areas where portfolios are not taken to the job interview, having strong portfolio pieces can help you answer a potential employer's concerns about lack of experience.
Your program coach will review your portfolio assignments with you every four months. Even if you get an A on the assignment, polishing it to meet professional standards and your specific career goals may take some revision.
In addition to the portfolio pieces, there will often be other assignments designated as helpful to your career in other ways. For example, you might be asked to interview someone doing work like you want to do. These career assignments will also be clearly designated in your course.
There is a six-week cycle of Collaborate-based webinars to introduce you to basic services, procedures, policies, and key people. The sessions are scheduled Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7 p.m. (MT) (Wednesday or Thursday depending on which cycle we're on), they overlap a bit. You're always welcome to attend but we strongly encourage new students to attend. You'll get more information on these in your first class.
The six sessions are:
A cyber chat with your Associate Dean
Student Services with the Director of Student Services
Class scheduling, honor roll, grades, and more with the Registrar
Understanding Career Services and how they can help you prepare for your new career with the Director of Career Services
Financial Aid issues with one of our Financial Planners
SHARC and the Online Library
In your first class, they will help you set up your computer to use Collaborate and they'll demonstrate how to work with Collaborate.
Stevens-Henager Academic Resource Center (SHARC)
SHARC is a resource center for students and faculty. The site includes:
Library Resources - Research databases (like Proquest and others that are more discipline specific) and study tools to improve writing
Tutoring Center - This is an important place to get one-on-one time on specific assignments as well as general assistance.
Videos & Webinars - Like the other areas on SHARC, this one is constantly growing. You'll find lots of help at getting through school successfully and with limited stress.
Contact Information - Here you can find lots of people and lots of ways to contact them. We are very serious about communication.
Career Services - Yeah, that diploma's going to look great framed on the wall but hey, show me the money! Here you can connect with our career services staff to make sure your education leads to the career you want.
Catalogs and Handbooks - The official and unofficial guides to our college.
Test Out - Under some situations, it is possible to test out of a course if you already have a mastery of the material. Here it explains how that works and gets you started on it.
The PAC Bridge is a place where you can connect with our Program Advisory Committee members and their companies. The Program Advisory Committees advise each career area on how to make sure our students are prepared to be successful employees. PAC members are all supervisors with the ability to hire for their respective companies. They are seasoned leaders in your career fields.
News & Notices - We will do our best to keep you up-to-date.
You'll also find things like the AD Chat here. This is a live session where you can connect with an associate dean or dean to talk about anything you want.
SHARC can be accessed either through LearningStudio (left-hand menu) or online at www.online-shc.com
Laptops are issued to undergraduate students after we have approval from Central Financial Aid
This will take approximately 6-8 weeks from when you start our classes
Laptops are the property of Stevens-Henager College until you graduate from your program. (This means that if you leave school, you must return the laptop in good working condition. Naturally, we hope you will continue forward successfully and graduate. Then the laptop will be yours to keep.)
Summary and Final Advice
Check the syllabus at the start of each course
Submit Assignments and Discussion Questions as previously instructed
E-books are provided where possible. Most e-books are available within your course materials. You may buy hardcopy versions if you wish.
If you have problems, questions, or concerns with any aspect of your course, contact your:
We are excited for you as you begin this new journey
We are here to help, so please let us know your needs
Remember you can come back to this at any time. There is no need to memorize anything now.