Online

ONLINE STUDY CLASSES

Online courses are an exceptionally accessible, flexible resource whether your goal is gaining new skills, working towards your degree, or advancing your career with a program certificate.

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You can come to class whenever it's convenient for you by choosing when and where you participate in class. Your course is conducted according to a schedule, but there are usually no "live" classes to attend. Instead, lectures, coursework, and discussions all take place at your convenience. You choose the place - at home, at school - wherever you have access to a computer, modem, and an Internet Service Provider (ISP). You'll get the same high-quality instruction and course content that you demand, but without the day-to-day obstacles that prevent so many of us from pursuing other goals. With online learning, commuting to campus and paying for childcare are things of the past.

Online courses can be quite varied in their overall approach to the teaching and learning process, but they often have certain characteristics in common. In all online courses, students use a computer to connect to a course site on the World Wide Web. Standard classroom books and printed materials are typically used in combination with online lectures, assignments, and supplementary course materials. Some courses have formal lectures, similar in length and content to lectures given in face-to-face classes. Online lectures may be entirely text-based or consist of some combination of text, graphics, sound and video. Other courses break the content up into smaller units or abandon the lecture entirely, instead relying on group discussion and others types of learning activities.

The course is designed so that you receive course assignments, complete them on your own time (but with a scheduled due date), and then return them as electronic documents. Your instructor will evaluate them and provide feedback. Many courses will also use, as an integral part of the course, a threaded discussion forum which you can use to share information, collaborate, and interact with other members of your class. Instructors will also provide updated course materials at the beginning of the each class session that is designed by our faculty to better deliver materials to students through reliable technology sources.

Depending on the course design, you probably will take your tests or exams online. The time involved in achieving the student's degree goal will vary from individual to individual. A few courses may require that you come to a testing room on campus. Additionally, some courses and programs may require predetermined trips to campus, which you should plan for before registering. You can find out about the course requirements in the schedule of classes.   

You should expect to spend as much time for study, or perhaps more, as a classroom course since you are managing your own learning using the online information and materials. This requires that you be self-disciplined, motivated, and have some skills using a networked computer and a Web browser. The content and rigor of the online courses offered by American Liberty University is equivalent to the on-campus version of the same course. In fact, in some cases, on-campus and off-campus students are combined into the same course section.

DISTANCE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS (California Code of Regulations 71715 & 71716 Disclosures)

 (a) As an institution offering a distance educational program where the instruction is not offered in real time, American Liberty University will transmit the first lesson and any materials to any student within seven days after the institution accepts the student for admission.

(b) The student shall have the right to cancel the agreement and receive a full refund pursuant to section 71750 (Withdrawals and Refunds) before the first lesson and materials are received. Cancellation is effective on the date written notice of cancellation is sent. American Liberty University will make the refund pursuant to section 71750. If American Liberty University sent the first lesson and materials before an effective cancellation notice was received, American Liberty University will make a refund within 45 days after the student’s return of the materials.

(c)(1) American Liberty University will transmit all of the lessons and other materials to the student if the student: (A) has fully paid for the educational program; and (B) after having received the first lesson and initial materials, requests in writing that all of the material be sent.
            (2) If American Liberty University transmits the balance of the material as the student requests, American Liberty University will remain obligated to provide the other educational services it agreed to provide, such as responses to student inquiries, student and faculty interaction, and evaluation and comment on lessons submitted by the student, but will not be obligated to pay any refund after all of the lessons and material are transmitted.

(d) The enrollment agreement shall disclose American Liberty University’s and student’s rights and duties under California Code of Regulations 71716.

ONLINE COURSES/PROGRAMS

***With the exception of the policies listed below, all of American Liberty University's policies and procedures listed in the INTRO, ADMISSIONS, FINANCIAL SERVICES, STUDENT SERVICES, and ACADEMICS sections of the catalog apply to online students***

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Students enrolling in online courses and programs face challenges in addition to those faced by traditional students. To help ensure that online students have the skills and competencies to succeed in a distance learning environment, online students will have their basic reading, writing, mathematics, and computer literacy skills assessed, and meet additional admissions requirements prior to enrolling in the program or course of study. Also, Students will be required to take a mandatory pre-admission questionnaire that can be filled out online or in-person at American Liberty University's campus.

In addition to ALL other published admissions requirements, students enrolling in online courses or programs must:

  • Have a high school diploma with a GPA of 2.0, or achieve a minimum passing scores on the ACT, SAT or TOEFL.
  • Have credits attempted relative to the maximum credits attempted that are allowed.
  • Receive approval from a American Liberty University Academic Advisor, Campus Academic Dean, or Program Chair, who will confirm that the student has access to the minimum system requirements (as detailed below) and will confirm the student’s commitment to completing an online course or program of study.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR BACHELOR'S PROGRAMS 
The General Requirements is a High School Diploma or an Associates Degree; or a minimum of 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of undergraduate credit. At least 30 semester hours (or 45 quarter hours) must be in general education (G.E.R.) courses. 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR MASTER'S PROGRAMS
The General Requirements is a Bachelor's Degree from an institution accredited by an institutional accrediting agency, recognized by the United States Department of Education; or an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or a state approved institution, or from a non-U.S. institution- an educational institution approved by equivalent authorities. 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCTORAL PROGRAMS 
The General Requirements is a Master’s Degree preferably in the same discipline as the Doctoral program to be undertaken. Persons not having the Masters Degree may be required to enroll in the concurrent Masters/Doctoral Program

TRANSFER CREDIT

Transfer credit needed to complete degree requirement. Courses a student wishes to be considered for transfer credit must adhere to the following guidelines:
            
1. Course work must have been completed at an accredited or recognized institution.
2. A grade of “C” or higher for BBA, and grade of "B" or higher for MS, MBA and Ph.D.
            3. Course work must have been completed within the past seven years.
4. Course content must approximate that of the program in which the applicant is enrolled.

*American Liberty University accepts transfer credit from State approved and/or USDOE accredited institutions set forth by State of California.

NOTE: American Liberty University has not entered into an articulation or transfer agreement with any other college or university for any online courses

CREDIT FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING 
American Liberty University does not grant any credit for prior experiential learning.

B.S. programs: 
Maximum 75% transfer credit may be awarded for the courses completed at accredited or recognized colleges/universities. This 75% transfer credit is for the total units required for the Bachelor's.

M.S. programs:
Maximum 20% transfer credit may be awarded for courses completed at accredited or recognized colleges/universities.

Ph.D. programs:
Maximum 30 transfer credit may be awarded for courses completed at accredited or recognized colleges/universities.

MINIMUM UNITS REQUIRED FOR COMPLETION ON-LINE DEGREE 
Minimum of 120 units, for Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) 
Minimum of 45 units above Bachelors Degree for Master in Business Administration (MBA)
Minimum of 72 units above Masters Degree for Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration  (Ph.D.)

NOTICE CONCERNING TRANSFERABILITY OF CREDITS AND CREDENTIALS EARNED AT OUT INSTITUTION:  
The transferability of credits you earn at American Liberty University is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the degree/certificate/diploma you earn in any of ALU's program is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer.

If the degree/certificate/diploma that you earn at American Liberty University are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your course work at the institution.  For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at American Liberty University will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending American Liberty University to determine if your degree/certificate/diploma will transfer.

Refund Policy for Distance Learning program:
For purposes of determining the scheduled length of program for refund calculations, multiply the number of courses required for the degree by 15 weeks, expected completion time per course. The institution refund policy for students who have received 60% or less of the course of instruction shall be a pro rata refund. The refund shall be the amount the student paid for instruction less the cost of the instruction received. Students are responsible for tuition fees for courses in which they are enrolled.

Students who have paid in full and received all course and lesson materials, as they requested, will not be entitled to a refund. However, they are entitled to receive all instruction they ordered for, provided that they comply with the academic policies and procedures of the University. For withdrawal beyond 60% completion, there are no refunds; nor is there any refund if a student completes a course in a shorter period of time than prescribed.

Students who have paid in full and who have requested a refund in writing and have received all of their instructional materials are not entitled to a refund after the material is mailed. However, they are entitled to receive all of the instruction they ordered for, provided that they comply with the academic policies and procedures of the University.

Refund Example: If a student completes 15 weeks of a 72 weeks (for MBA) program and has paid $8,775.00 in tuition, the student would receive a refund calculated as follows: $8,775.00 x 57/72 = $6,946.80 - $110 (Application Fee).

MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Each student must have access to a computer that meets the following minimum system requirements:

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PROGRAMS

  • Microsoft® Windows® XP, Vista or Windows 7
  • XP – 800MHz or faster processor; Vista – 1GHz or faster processor; Windows 7 – 1GB+
  • XP – 256MB RAM (512MB recommended); Vista – 512MB
  • RAM (1GB+ recommended); Windows 1GB RAM
  • DVD-ROM/CD-R/-RW drive (DVD±R/±RW recommended)
  • 15GB of AVAILABLE hard-disk space
  • Speakers/Headphones
  • Internet connection – Broadband (DSL, Cable)

***American Liberty University students may be required to upgrade hardware and or software during their education***

ALL OTHER DEGREE PROGRAMS

  • Microsoft® Windows® XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7
  • 1.3GHz or faster processor
  • 2GB RAM (2GB+ recommended)
  • DVD-ROM/CD-R/-RW drive (DVD±R/±RW recommended)
  • 25GB of AVAILABLE hard-disk space
  • Speakers/Headphones
  • Internet connection – Broadband (DSL, Cable)

Please note: The requirements for graphics cards are dependent on the software used and may change during the course of a student’s education.

ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS FOR ONLINE CLASSES

A student is considered to be attending an online class if he/she submits one or more of the assignments set forth in the course by his/her faculty. Failure to abide by the guidelines set forth in this policy will result in the student being marked absent for the week.

Possible assignments may include:
            -Threaded discussion
            -Quiz
            -Study Guides
            -Examinations (Midterms and Finals)
            -Dissertation

Coursework, ranging from threaded discussion posts to quizzes will be evaluated, graded and returned to the student within 10 school days, after the work has been received by American Liberty University.

Projects and Dissertations will be evaluated by the American Liberty University Dean's, Department Chair's and the Academic Board of Directors. American Liberty University will return the graded/evaluated material to the student within fifteen business days from the time that it was submitted. Some time is needed to grade the material, due to its sensitivity and value to the completion of the degree.

*Please note, this list is not extensive and is subject to change at the discretion of the faculty.

All students are required to actively participate and contribute to the discussion in online courses. This interaction is expected to be both efficient and frequent. Participation is a component of grading. Failure to participate can have a serious effect on a student’s ability to make academic progress. Policies on participation and make-up work may vary by individual course and are detailed in the course syllabus.

Students success has shown to be much greater when the steps below are followed properly throughout the educational process.

  • Complete the Orientation program.
  • Read the course catalog to ensure understanding of academic progress, degree requirements, and resources available.
  • Tracking academic progress to catalog requirements will ensure that a student will complete the program in the designated timeframe.
  • Log into classes at a minimum of five times per week and complete threaded discussions as stated by the instructor.
  • Student engagement is one critical key to success in the online environment; therefore, attendance is mandatory.
  • Ensure all deadlines are met by doing all assignments and tests on time. Be aware that there are midweek and weekend deadlines for threaded discussions, assignments or tests.
  • Read textbooks regularly as guided by the instructor
  • Access personalized grade book that will track grades, which will be updated by the instructor throughout the term, which will help keep students on track for success.
  • Utilize faculty members as a resource. Faculty are available to assist students with questions. To ensure access to faculty members, there are various contact methods for communication which are outlined in the course syllabus.
  • Understand that tests are administered online. These exams are true/false, multiple-choice and short-answer, and have a time limit for completion.
  • Attend classes during Week 1. Students must attend at least once per course during Week 1 of the term. This is the minimum requirement to be counted as attending.

NOTE: *Individual faculty may impose stricter attendance requirements as needed to support educational objectives. These requirements will be disclosed in the course syllabus.

Definition of Attendance – student submission of a gradable item.

Gradable items include:
            -Threaded Discussion
            -Any assignment submitted by the student via the “drop-box”
            -Quiz
            -Test

*By the end of the first two weeks, the expectation is that for a student to be successful, he/she must obtain a minimum of 50% average in his/her courses.

ONLINE CLASS ATTENDANCE RECORDS/ABSENCES

Online Attendance records are regularly maintained by the University through the use of electronic sign-in sheets and instructor roll notes. Electronic Sign-in sheets list all of the students officially registered in the class. All American Liberty University students are required to attend a minimum of eighty percent (80%) of the scheduled online sessions in each class, according to University policy. Therefore, if students are marked as absent in more than twenty percent (20%) of the scheduled sessions in a particular class, they are subject to administrative automatic failure ("F" grade) in the class for failure to meet American Liberty University's attendance requirements.

Students are cautioned that maintaining track of personal attendance in courses registered is the student's responsibility, not the University's. The University cannot provide telephone or personal assistance in verifying attendance/absence information in courses. Students are held strictly accountable for knowing how many absences have been incurred in each of their registered courses and for understanding the ramifications of failure to meet the attendance requirements in a course or courses.

*NOTE: In online courses, there will be a section designated for the viewing of attendance records and individual grade sheets. ALL of these records are private and only the student can view his/her individual status in the course. 
 
OFFICIAL ONLINE MAKE-UP CLASS 
Students may officially make up a missed online class session by attending another section of the same class in the same week as the online class session missed, OR, the student must arrange a future time for their missed online work to be completed with the instructors permission.

Midterm and Final examinations must be taken in the registered online class section. If a student misses an online course examination, they will be required to arrange a proper time with the instructor to complete necessary material or risk failure in the course.

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS
To be in good academic standing with the university and to be eligible to receive financial aid or services help, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

At the end of each term, each student is evaluated on two components to determine if he/she is maintaining satisfactory academic progress:
            1. Final Grades
            2. Successful course completion rate

GRADE DISTRIBUTION - ONLINE COURSES

All assignments that contribute towards a final grade are graded on a percentage basis.

The following scale is used for conversion:

A         4.00 Grade Points (G.P.)          95-100%          Excellent
A-        3.70 Grade Points (G.P.)          90-94%
B+        3.40 Grade Points (G.P.)          87-89%                        Above Average
B          3.20 Grade Points (G.P.)          83-86%
B-        3.00 Grade Points (G.P.)          80-82%
C+        2.80 Grade Points (G.P.)          77-79%                        Average
C          2.50 Grade Points (G.P.)          70-76%
C-        2.00 Grade Points (G.P.)          65-69%
F          0.00 Grade Points (G.P.)                                  Failure
            
P                      Pass (not included in the G.P.A.)
I                       Incomplete
AU                   Audit
CR                   Credit
CRC                 Credit for Challenge Examination
TCR                 Transfer Credit (Approval required)
NP                   Not Passing
W                    Withdrawal
DS                    Dismissal

1.         Grade points for each completed course are computed as a product of the earned grade number and the number of units. The Grade Point Average (GPA) is computed for American Liberty University units only.
2.         The lowest passing grade at the Undergraduate is a “C” (2.0), and at the graduate and post graduate level is a "B" (3.0).
3.         A grade of "I", indicating incomplete work, is assigned to a student who has attended class but who, because of an emergency, has failed to complete all assigned work for the course. The "I" grade is given only to students whose work, at the time the "I" grade is assigned, is at least passing. Incomplete grades are given only for compelling reasons, as determined by the instructor and as approved by the University Dean; documentation, provided by the student, is necessary. Students must formally request that an incomplete grade be issued, prior to the end of the academic term. Students receiving an "I" grade must contact the course instructor and/or University Dean and make up the deficient course work within six months following the end of the course for which the "I" grade was issued; otherwise the "I" will be changed to "F."

GRADE REPORTS 

Official grade reports are issued for each class and mailed to each student by Registrar after the end of each semester. Grade reports will not be given over the telephone or in person.

GENERAL ONLINE COURSE INFORMATION

If this is your first online class, you are in for a great experience. But to be successful, you must keep a few things in mind.

  1. Online classes at ALU follow the same academic schedule as our other classes. The classes start on the day published in the schedule of classes and you must find your class and sign in on or before that date, or you may loose your place in the class. If you have any problems finding your class or getting in, email your professor as soon as possible.
  1. Online classes at ALU are all asynchronous-paced classes. This means you do not have to be online at any particular time, but you must complete assignments according to the schedule established by your instructor. This is very important! You cannot work at your own pace, but must adhere to the class's schedule. You will probably have assignments the first week of class, so again it is important that you find your class and sign in.
  1. Online classes offer the opportunity to fit classes into your busy schedule and are fun, exciting learning experience. They have the same requirement for class hours and outside assignments as traditional classes. They are not for everyone. Online classes require a great deal of self discipline and time management. You must read everything posted on the class web site very carefully!
  1. Most online classes at ALU can be found by going tohttp://aluniversity.edu/elearning. Once there you will need to Create New Account. You will find a link with a tutorial on how to do this on the main page.
  1. In order to take a online class you need three things:
    • A reliable computer with a reliable internet connection. The syllabus for your class, which you will find when you login to your online class's web site will outline the exact computer and software requirements. Remember you can use the various computer labs on ALU's campus to do your online work, but you must factor into your schedule when these labs are available.
    • The ability to use a browser and basic windows skills (cut, copy, paste, create folders, save and retrieve files etc.)
    • An active Email Account. You can NOT take an online class if you do not have an email account. If you do not have a currently active one, you can get one free from http://yahoo.com ,http://hotmail.com , or http://gmail.com . If you have an email already, you can use it in your online class.
  1. Often online classes will offer an orientation session. The schedule for this session is published here in the class schedule. These sessions are very important for your online success and should not be missed.
  1. Depending on specific courses and common needs, a tutorial class meeting under the guidance of a University-appointed tutor is a definite plus. While not compulsory, such tutorials definitely offer students extra learning reinforcement.

 LENGTH OF THE DEGREE:  The time frame will depend upon the transfer credits the student brings into the program, the number of courses assigned to the student after an evaluation of the application materials, and the effort the student desires to put into the program.

 ACADEMIC CALENDAR: The American Liberty University operates on a semester basis. The nature of the Distance Learning allows for open enrollment year round. The student’s semester begins upon enrollment.

METHOD OF INSTRUCTION
Distance education as defined in section 94834 of the Code, does not require the physical presence of students and faculty at the same location but provides for interaction between students and faculty by such means as telecommunication, correspondence, electronic and computer augmented educational services, postal service, and facsimile transmission.

UNDERGRADUATE INDEPENDENT PROJECT
Each student may select one independent study projects in lieu of a textbook-based course to fulfill the course work requirements. The student will be required to submit to his/her faculty advisor the topic of the proposed independent project for approval. Each topic must be directly related to the fields of Business Administration. Each submission will be graded in the same
manner as a textbook course.

DIRECT STUDY AND ELECTIVE RESEARCH PROJECT
Each student may undertake a direct study or elective research project by utilizing his/her
knowledge to handle a practical problem in the field. The learning outcome is to acquire new
knowledge and be able to apply such knowledge by problem solving specific issues. The student is required to submit a study/project proposal to the University for approval. The final project must be typed and a proper citation, bibliography and glossary of terms should be included.

EVALUATION OF LESSONS SUBMITTED BY STUDENTS
Students’ lessons will be evaluated within ten business days. Final projects will be graded within
fifteen business days.

STUDENT INTERACTION
As with any distance learning program with students throughout the world, it is difficult for
students to convene in traditional study groups for learning purposes. The University provides for
electronic interaction between students and their faculty members to offset this limitation. Through electronic means, students are in direct one-on-one contact with their faculty members and staff to enhance their learning.

If study groups are requested by students, the American Liberty University will aid by providing names, email addresses and phone numbers of other students enrolled in the same program.

Are Distance-Learning Courses for Me?

How well would distance-learning courses fit your circumstances and lifestyle? Circle an answer for each question and score as directed below. Students who tend to be most successful are those individuals who are self-directed and self-motivated in their learning and study habits. Answer honestly - no one will see this but you!

(This questionnaire is adapted from "Are Telecourses for Me?" from PBS-Adult Learning Service, The Agenda, Spring 1994.)


1. My need to take this course now is:
a. High - I need it immediately for a specific goal.
b. Moderate - I could take it on campus later or substitute another course.
c. Low - It could be postponed.

2. Feeling that I am part of a class is: 
a. Not particularly necessary to me. 
b. Somewhat important to me. 
c. Very important to me.

3. I would classify myself as someone who:
a. Often gets things done ahead of time. 
b. Needs reminding to get things done on time. 
c. Puts things off until the last minute or doesn't complete them.

4. Classroom discussion is: 
a. Rarely helpful to me. 
b. Sometimes helpful to me. 
c. Almost always helpful to me.

5. When an instructor hands out directions for an assignment, I prefer:
a. Figuring out the instructions myself. 
b. Trying to follow the directions on my own, then asking for help as needed.
c. Having the instructions explained to me.

6. I need faculty comments on my assignments:
a. Within a few weeks, so I can review what I did. 
b. Within a few days, or I forget what I did. 
c. Right away, or I get very frustrated.

7. Considering my professional and personal schedule, the amount of time I have to work on a distance-learning course is:
a. More than enough for an on-campus course. 
b. The same as for a class held on campus. 
c. Less than for a class held on campus.

8. Coming to campus on a regular schedule is: 
a. Extremely difficult for me - I have commitments (work, family or personal) during times when classes are offered. 
b. A little difficult, but I can rearrange my priorities to allow for regular attendance on campus. 
c. Easy for me.

9. As a reader, I would classify myself as:
a. Good - I usually understand the text without help. 
b. Average - I sometimes need help to understand the text.
c. Slower than average.

10. When I need help understanding the subject: 
a. I am comfortable approaching an instructor to ask for clarification. 
b. I am uncomfortable approaching an instructor, but do it anyway. 
c. I never approach an instructor to admit I don't understand something.

Scoring

Add 3 points for each "a" that you circled, 2 for each "b," and 1 for each "c." If you scored 20 or more, a distance-learning course is a real possibility for you. If you scored between 11 and 20, distance-learning courses may work for you, but you may need to make a few adjustments in your schedule and study habits to succeed. If you scored 10 or less, distance learning currently may not be the best alternative for you; talk to your counselor.

Explanations

  1. Distance-learning students sometimes neglect their courses because of personal or professional circumstances. Having a compelling reason for taking the course helps motivate the student to stick with the course.
  2. Some students prefer the independence of Distance Learning; others find the independence uncomfortable and miss being part of the classroom experience.
  3. Distance-learning courses give students greater freedom of scheduling, but they can require more self-discipline than on-campus classes.
  4. Some people learn best by interacting with other students and instructors. Others learn better by listening, reading and reviewing on their own. Distance-learning courses provide less opportunity for group interaction than most on-campus courses.
  5. Distance Learning requires you to work from written directions.
  6. It may take as long as two to three weeks to get comments back from your instructor in distance-learning classes.
  7. Distance Learning requires at least as much time as on-campus courses. Students surveyed say that distance-learning courses are as hard or harder than on-campus courses.
  8. Most people who are successful with Distance Learning find it difficult to come to campus on a regular basis because of their work, family or personal schedules.
  9. Print materials are the primary source of directions and information in distance-learning courses.
  10. Students who do well in distance-learning courses are usually comfortable contacting the instructor as soon as they need help with the course.
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