Frequently Asked Questions
Do eLearning students receive the same benefits as traditional Pierce College students?
Of course! To access Pierce College services, you must take your registration information to the Students Programs office to be issued a student ID card. This card guarantees you receive all the benefits of traditional students. The Student Programs office is located on the fourth level of the Cascade building at Pierce Fort Steilacoom and in Room C-210 at Pierce Puyallup.
What if I can't finish my class in a single quarter?
The steps you need to take depend on the type of course. Read your course syllabus to know the specifics for your specific course. The following options may be available:
- Quarterly Schedule: You may (depending on the instructor's discretion) have the option of receiving an I (incomplete) grade, but this requires you to sign an agreement acknowledging the amount of work that needs to be done and establishing a deadline for its completion.
If you are receiving financial aid, it is important that you understand that your aid amount is often dependent on you finishing the course on time. You risk probation or immediate repayment of funds if you do not complete your course on time. Contact the Financial Aid office for additional details.
Who do I contact if I have problems?
Stay in close contact with your instructor (contact information is included in your syllabus). They can help you with questions about assignments, course objectives, test results and other concerns specific to the course. For more general information on eLearning, contact the eLearning office. If you are currently in an online course via Canvas, access the HelpDesk from the login screen.
What if I want to withdraw from or drop a class?
Most eLearning courses use the same withdrawal/refund policy as traditional Pierce College courses. It is strongly recommended that you first consult with your instructor to discuss your options before taking this step.
Where do I buy my books?
The campus bookstores stock all the books, study guides and other materials for Pierce College Online and Quarterly Schedule eLearning courses. The bookstores' online system allows you to select and pay for your books online, and choose to have them delivered or made ready for you to pickup at the bookstores.
For all WashingtonOnline courses, materials are available from the WAOL website.
How do I watch the videos required for my class?
There are several options available:
- KBTC/Channel 28 broadcasts several telecourses. The complete programming schedule is available on the KBTC website.
- CollegeVision airs telecourses throughout the week. This program airs on Channel 28 on AT&T in Pierce County.
- Videotapes of the programs can be viewed at the campus libraries or checked out for viewing at home. Public libraries may have the videos, as well. Contact your local branch to check availability.
- A limited number of programs are available as streaming videos online.
My professor said we will have proctored a quiz/exam/test? What do I need to do?
Some Pierce College courses may have proctoring required for assessments. Your professor will let you know of proctoring requirements early in the course so you can make necessary arrangements well in advance of the proctored assessment(s). There will be specific hardware and software requirements, so be sure to check early to avoid last minute problems. Here is a resource that will get you started - RemoteProctorNow Student Welcome message.
Where do I take tests?
Your instructor's course syllabus or course materials and instructions will describe testing options. If proctored assessments are required, the Testing Center at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom and at Pierce College Puyallup are usually the most convenient locations. You will not need an appointment for those centers if you take your exam during normal operating hours. Special appointments may be made to take exams during college breaks or other times when those facilities are closed. If you're planning to take a test, it is advised that you call ahead to either the Testing Center at Fort Steilacoom or Puyallup to ensure you're able to take the exam.
For students who are unable to visit either the Fort Steilacoom or Puyallup campuses or participate in RemoteProctorNow, contact the eLearning office for information on how to arrange to have an exam proctor administer your exam at a location that's convenient for you.
Will eLearning classes transfer to four-year colleges and universities?
Absolutely! In fact, eLearning courses appear exactly the same as traditional courses on your transcript. If you're concerned about the transferability of a particular course, check with the Advising Center or contact the institution to which you plan to transfer.
Can I receive financial aid and/or military tuition assistance for eLearning classes?
eLearning students are entitled to financial aid opportunities, though certain restrictions do apply. If you are using financial aid or military tuition assistance for your eLearning courses, you have only one quarter to complete those courses. For more information, contact the Financial Aid office or the Pierce College at JBLM.
How do I check my grades?
How do out-of-state students address issues or file complaints?
Students needing to address issues or file a grievance can do so online. Details, directions and procedures are outlined on the Grievances Policy page. In addition to the Pierce College Grievances Policy page, students may also contact the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC):
The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) has authority to investigate student complaints against specific schools. WSAC may not be able to investigate every student complaint. Visit http://www.wsac.wa.gov/student-complaints for information regarding the WSAC complaint process.
In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008, the U.S. Department of Education conducted a Negotiated Rule Making Process in 2010, requiring that institutions offering distance education provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student's state. Below is information on Pierce College's accrediting agency, followed by a document listing all states' agencies responsible for complaints regarding out-of-state distance education programs.