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Welcome to Distance Education at Suffolk

These pages include information for prospective students that are interested in taking fully online degree programs, and fully online, Real-Time online, combined online, hybrid and HyFlex ("Sufflex") courses at the College.

Faculty who are interested in learning more about Brightspace or getting certified to teach online should visit our Online Faculty site.

What is Suffolk Online?

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Suffolk Online refers to a specific pedagogy supported by the online digital learning environment Brightspace. Through this environment, instructors engage with students, provide learning activities and materials, and conduct assessments.

What is distance education?

At Suffolk, distance education refers to a specific pedagogy to support student success in virtual environments, facilitated by the Brightspace learning management system. Student can expect to find engagement, activities and assessment, provided by their instructors, to fully participate in the course.

Distance education is an attractive option for individuals who need flexibility and are self-motivated and can work independently. There is no difference in what you are expected to learn; it is the modality delivery that is different.

What are the different types of online education courses?

Online (ONLINE) – engagement and instruction is provided by the professor through Brightspace, the college’s learning management system, and students interact with faculty, other students and content working on their own time while adhering to course deadlines

Hybrid/BlendedInstructors meet with students in a classroom on one of the campus locations and the balance of the instruction takes place in Brightspace; or the instructor meets with students in a virtual classroom i.e. Zoom and the balance of the instruction takes place in Brightspace. Ergo, this is a blended format.

Blended meetings may be weekly, monthly, or a specific number of times per semester as dictated by an instructor but meeting dates must be clearly advertised in the Banner course schedule and displayed in the course outline. 

Combined Online (COMBINEONL) – 50% Online and 50% online in real time. 

Real Time Online (RLTIME ONL) - recreates a classroom experience with your instructor and other class members using live virtual instruction (Zoom) on scheduled days and times.

HyFlex ("Sufflex") – Simultaneously, some students attend on-campus and some students attend online in real time while all are enrolled in the same course.

FAQ about online courses at Suffolk

  • Can I work at my own pace? No. Online courses follow the academic calendar and have due dates for assignments, discussions and exams.
  • When can I register for online courses? Students can register during the same times as for traditional courses. The College does not have open enrollment.
  • Are online courses easier? No. You can expect the same requirements in a distance education course as you would find in an on-campus course.

Who should enroll in distance education courses?

Students should enroll in distance education courses only if they are serious about and capable of more independent, technology-enhanced environments and use organizational skills for timely completion of college-level coursework. To enroll in a distance education course, students should have successfully completed any requisite developmental coursework.

To enroll in an online course, students should have successfully completed any requisite developmental coursework.

Those who are apt to succeed as distance learners:

  • Are highly motivated
  • Are independent
  • Are active learners
  • Have good reading and writing skills
  • Have good organizational and time management skills
  • Have the discipline to study without external reminders
  • Can adapt to new learning environments
  • Have access to high-speed wifi and a computer

Success in distance education requires a combination of personal motivation, the ability to use computer technology, self-direction in completing coursework on time, and the reading and writing skills to communicate with both the instructor and classmates.

Proceed to "Is Online Learning Right for Me?" to assess your potential for online learning success.

Use of Online Exam Proctoring

Some courses or programs at the College may require students to use online exam proctoring and security tool(s) for online/remote exams. Proctorio is an online, remote proctoring tool that uses secure browser settings, computer lockdown, originality authentication, identity verification technology, automated proctoring, and analytics to ensure test integrity.

This service was selected and made available for use after a careful evaluation of adherence to our computing and security requirements, academic/program requirements, privacy considerations, and the tools’ support for our commitment to academic integrity.

Students should refer to their course syllabi for any course-specific information and requirements. Further instructions on using online exam proctoring will be provided by the faculty member.


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Suffolk County Community College has been approved to participate in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.