- What is the difference between continuing education and distance education?
Continuing education consists of non-degree courses, workshops, conferences, and certificate programs for your professional development and personal enrichment. These open learning opportunities are primarily offered in a face-to-face format and are delivered on-campus at the University of Guelph or at sites convenient to our learning audiences.
Distance education allows you to study at home or in your office, according to your own schedule...there are no classes to attend. Generally, each course comes with a manual that may be accompanied by videotapes, audiotapes, audio CDs computer diskettes, CD-ROMs, etc., depending on the nature of the course. As well, most courses incorporate computer conferencing, e-mail, listservs, computer-based quizzes, and use the World Wide Web as an innovative learning environment. Distance education provides a contemporary means through which the University of Guelph continues its tradition of outreach and open learning opportunities.
Most distance education courses count as degree credit (.5 credit weight). Some are non-credit. The outcome of each course offered by the Office of Open Learning is noted in the individual course descriptions available on this site.
Individuals wishing to take degree-credit distance education courses for personal enrichment, professional development, or eventual application to a degree program, may enrol in the Open Learning program.
- Are there restrictions on who is eligible to take courses through the Office of Open Learning?
There generally are not restrictions for individuals wishing to register in continuing education courses, workshops, conferences, etc. However, it is best that you read the course description carefully, including the information on the intended target audience, to ensure that the course is right for you.
Many distance education courses have prerequisites. However, if you believe that you have the requisite educational, work or life experience, permission may be obtained from the instructor to waive the prerequisite. Contact us at email@example.com for more information.
- Could you send me an Office of Open Learning catalogue?
Because our courses and programs are so wide-ranging, and targeted to such a diversity of learners, we do not have a single printed catalogue.
More detailed information, including registration forms, is available on each continuing education offering. Please request a brochure regarding the program in which you are interested.
A catalogue of degree-credit distance education courses is available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request one.
- Can I register on-line?
Yes for many courses. For instance, please note the link to an online registration form at the top and bottom of each distance education course description.
You can also register via phone, fax, mail, or in person at our office. Please let us know the course(s) in which you are interested.
- What are the registration deadlines?
Each offering has its own registration deadline. Please see the individual course descriptions, or contact us for more information. Generally, we do everything we can to get you registered for a course. However, it is advisable to register early, as some courses have limits and fill up early.
- How long does it take to finish a certificate?
Most distance education or evening continuing education certificate programs consist of five courses. If you were to take one course a semester, it would therefore take five semesters, or approximately two years. A few continuing education certificate programs, such as the Turf Managers Short Course, can be completed in as little as one month.
- What is the cost of taking a course?
Course fees vary depending on the program. Please refer to individual course or program pages for applicable fees. All fees are subject to change.
University of Guelph Degree Students must refer to the University's Schedule of Fees for the appropriate course tuition fees.
Non-degree Courses and Programs
Non-degree professional development course fees vary depending on the program. All fees are subject to change. See individual course or program pages for current fees.
- What is your refund policy?
Please contact the individual who manages that particular course (please refer to the Open Learning contact person in each course description).
- Are Open Learning courses tax deductible?
Tax receipts are issued. In Canada, the tuition portion of your course fees is income tax deductible.
- How do I apply for admission to a degree program at the University of Guelph?
Please contact the Admissions Office at 519 821-2130, or visit the University of Guelph's Admissions Office website for more information.
- How does distance education work?
Distance education allows you to study at home or in your office, according to your own schedule...there are no classes to attend. Generally, each course comes with a manual that may be accompanied by videotapes, DVDs, audiotapes, audio CDs, computer diskettes, CD-ROMs, etc., depending on the nature of the course. As well, many courses incorporate computer conferencing, e-mail, listservs, computer-based quizzes, and the Internet. Some courses are entirely on-line, using the World Wide Web as an innovative learning environment. Distance education provides a contemporary means through which the University of Guelph continues its tradition of outreach and open learning opportunities.
- Should I apply for entry to a degree program?
You should apply for entry to a degree program if:
- you are applying to take a course(s) on campus on a Letter of Permission
- you are upgrading your academic qualifications (e.g. finishing a degree you have already started, upgrading a degree you presently hold, gaining credits for admission to a graduate program)
To apply for entry to a degree program at the University of Guelph, contact Admissions at 519 821-2130 or email email@example.com
- What are the application deadlines for new degree program students?
Visit the Admissions website for a schedule of important dates and application deadlines.
- Can I complete an entire degree by distance education at the University of Guelph?
No. However, as we add more distance education courses, we hope to eventually put together a degree program entirely by distance.
- What if I wish to take distance courses for personal enrichment or professional development?
If you are applying for entry to course(s) for any of the following reasons:
- personal interest or enrichment
- professional development
- gaining credits that can eventually be applied to a degree program
...You should apply for entry to the Open Learning program.
- What is the Open Learning program?
The Open Learning program is an open admission distance-only mode of study that provides access to degree-credit university courses for individuals who wish to study independently but are not interested in pursuing a degree at the University of Guelph at the present time. You may register in the Open Learning program, even if you are registered at another educational institution or program. The Open Learning program extends the academic resources of the University to those interested in personal enrichment, professional updating, or eventual application to a degree program.
Open Learning program students must complete the same assignments and examinations as those in degree programs and are evaluated using the same standards. Upon successful completion of a course, learners receive the same credit weight as would apply to the degree program.
- How can I apply to the University of Guelph from the Open Learning program?
Individuals who have no other post secondary experience my transfer from the Open Learning program to a Bachelor of Arts program upon completion of 2.0 credits with a cumulative average of at least 70%.
Individuals who have previous post secondary experience may apply for admission to a degree program after completing courses in the Open Learning program by following the guidelines for external transfer students outlined at the University of Guelph Admissions website.
Further information is available from the Office of Open Learning by email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 519-767-5000.
- Can I start and finish my distance education course at any time?
Degree-credit distance courses are offered on a semester system. The fall semester begins in early September, the winter semester in early January, and the spring semester in early May.
However, some non-degree distance courses operate on an open entry system. Contact us at email@example.com for more information.
- Where do I get the required textbooks for my distance education course?
You may order textbooks from:
Either bookstore will ship your textbooks to you.
- How much time will I need to devote to my distance course each week?
Distance courses are just as demanding as on-campus university courses. They require a significant amount of reading and writing, and a corresponding amount of time is required to complete course requirements. A general rule of thumb is that you should expect to spend 10 hours per week for each course taken. However, there is some variation in the nature of assignments and instructor requirements, as well as individual study habits. We recommend that you establish a study routine and schedule early in the semester.
- How should I prepare my distance education assignment?
Your course package will likely contain specific directions about assignment format. Here are some helpful hints:
- double space your assignment and allow for margins along the top, bottom and sides of the page
- use one side of the paper only
- we strongly urge you to use a word-processor or typewriter; however, if this is not possible check with your instructor to see if he or she will accept neatly handwritten assignments
- place your name and I.D. number on each page, and number the pages
- proofread your assignment for content, spelling and grammatical errors
- complete the information section of the cover sheet provided and staple it to the front of your assignment (please do not paper-clip your assignment as the clips tend to slip off)
- fill out the sender identification information on the envelopes provided
- although duo-tangs and rigid covers are attractive and look professional, they complicate mail handling procedures and are therefore not recommended for use
- always retain a disk or hard copy of your assignment in case the original is lost in transit
- How many distance education assignments will I have to complete?
Distance education courses typically have anywhere from two to ten assignments, and each assignment has specific requirements and a set due date. Information on your course assignments and assignment deadlines are located in the Assignment, Evaluation and Instructor Information unit for each course, which is sent to you when you register.
- How do I submit my assignments?
Most assignments are submitted electronically, but you can also drop off assignments at the Distance Education office or send them in by mail.
- What if I live outside continental North America?
Learners outside continental North America should submit assignments to our office via fax or mail. Be sure to include your name, student number, course name and number, instructor and the assignment number.
- What happens if I can't get my assignment in on time?
It is important for you to be aware of due dates so that you can complete and submit your assignments in a timely fashion. Instructors may use their discretion to deduct marks for late assignments. Contact your instructor or teaching assistant in advance of the due date, if possible, if you are unable to complete your assignment on time. Medical documentation may be requested if illness has prevented you from keeping up with your course.
- Should I send my distance education assignment directly to my instructor or marker to save time?
The maintenance of accurate records is necessary in order to track all assignment submissions. As a service to both students and instructors, the Office of Open Learning - Distance Education maintains and provides information on the status of student assignments, such as when a specific assignment has been received, graded and returned to a student. A direct submission to an instructor or department leaves our office with incomplete or inaccurate information and may lead us to believe that an assignment has been lost or not submitted when it has, in fact, entered the system without our knowledge.
- How long does it take for my distance education assignment to be marked and returned to me?
Marking time depends in part on individual instructor practices, and most instructors mark on a "per class" rather than a "per submission" basis. Generally, the turnaround time for assignments is four weeks from the due date of the assignment to the date that you receive your returned marked assignment. This means that you may not receive an assignment back before your next assignment is due for submission. If you feel that you need to get feedback on your last assignment prior to submitting the next one, contact your instructor to discuss this. Graded assignments are returned to the Office of Open Learning - Distance Education by the instructor, and then returned to you.
- Where do I write my final distance education exams?
Generally, those within 100 kilometers of Guelph come to campus to write final examinations. However, at the request of the student, arrangements can be made for learners to write examinations with a pre-approved invigilator (examination supervisor) at an alternate exam location.