Understanding DCE Courses

Online and other distance and continued education classes continue to be a way for students like Court Edwards to take courses.

“It’s a lot easier for me,” Edwards, a junior political science student said.

Carrie Anne Platt, a professor in the communication department, said online classes are becoming more and more hybrid.

In the communication department, online classes have been using interactive video network rooms to bring students face-to-face with their classmates.

“We’re combining our online students with our face to face graduate students,” Platt said, adding, “You’re losing the flexibility that comes with an asynchronous course, but I think that you’re also gaining an element of discussion that you don’t necessarily have when you’re using a discussion board.”

The time of online class within the communications department has also been changing. Class meetings have been moved beyond 5 p.m. to accommodate working students, most of whom are.

The tuition cost of DCE classes is different than the tuition cost of regular classes.

DCE tuition is assessed at a per-credit rate to anyone enrolled in a DCE class.

DCE tuition is also not part of the regular 12-credit tuition cap. If a student is taking more than 12 credits, the DCE tuition rate will be applied.

The tuition for DCE classes is regular in one way, however.

“All tuition goes into the same tuition bucket,” Karin Hegstad, NDSU director of customer account services, said.

The future of online classes is uncertain, as a department’s budget is always slightly uncertain, Platt said.

“Under the ND University System’s (NDUS) 2015-2020 Strategic plan, the NDUS and the (State Board of Higher Education) are reviewing new tuition model principles. This is still being developed but could result in a different tuition structure for regular and DCE tuition,” Hegstad said in an email.

It is unknown how to tell how many students are online only, but it is known how many students are taking online classes, Platt said.

“The cost is a bit ridiculous; I did it because I had a busy course load, but it’s hard to justify the cost,” said Grant Woinarowicz, a crop and weed science graduate from NDSU.

“I think it’s worth the extra cost if you can do well in the classes,” Edwards said.

“It frees up time for your semester because you don’t have to be on campus, you could get everything done in the first part of the week or work ahead to free up more important things,” Woinarowicz said.

Jack Dura contributed to this story.

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