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    Palo Alto College
  May 22, 2024
Palo Alto College Schedule/Catalog 2019-2020 
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Palo Alto College Schedule/Catalog 2019-2020 [Archived Catalog]

Distance Education

Palo Alto College offers distance education courses which help meet the needs of students whose busy lifestyles make scheduling traditional college courses difficult.  Palo Alto College utilizes a variety of instructional delivery modes.

  • Internet Courses - Students can access their courses anywhere and any time using a computer with Internet access and minimum system requirements. Student also have access to computers in various Palo Alto College open computer labs.
  • Blended Courses - Blended (previously known as Hybrid) courses combine traditional lecture, discussion or lab sections with online or other computer-based learning.  Blended courses move a significant part of the course work to the computer or Internet and, as a result, reduce the amount of time you will spend in a classroom setting.  The remaining amount of the course work is done out of classes - either in the open lab or at home.
  • Interactive Video conference Courses - A videoconferencing system utilizes real time audio and video between instructor and students.  These courses are offered either to or from a distant site or sites.  Students may attend classes on campus or at a  pre-arranged remote site.

Course content, college credit, and transferability of a distance education course is equivalent to the same course offered on campus.  Students have the same rights, privileges and obligations as an on-campus student.  However, distance education courses may not be appropriate for everyone.  Maturity and self-discipline are necessary because students must maintain steady progress throughout the semester.  For more specific information about distance education courses, refer to the following web site:

Are You Ready for a Distance Education Course?

We have created a short self-assessment that will help you determine if  you will be successful in a Distance Education course.  Distance Education courses require self-discipline, motivation, and the ability to work independently.  Most students report that Distance Learning courses are as difficult and time-consuming as conventional courses - or more so.  To view the checklist, visit our Distance Education website.

Required Orientation for Internet Courses

An on-campus or online orientation is required for all Internet courses.  Dates and times for orientation, whether face-to-face or online, are listed by course and section number in the Course Listings of this schedule.  It is the responsibility of the student to attend one of the sessions for each enrolled Internet course.  Students who have not attended an orientation session or contacted their instructor will be dropped from the course by their instructor.

If you are enrolling in an Internet course, you must also email your instructor to receive important materials for your online course.  The purpose of the orientation is to give you vital information about the course such as the syllabus, schedule of lessons, etc.  Email addresses are listed by course and section number within the online course schedule.

Requirements for Enrolling in an Internet Course
Students must have the following tools and skills to be successful in an Internet course:
    1.    Access to the Alamo Colleges District Intranet (
    2.    Internet Service Provider (ISP)
    3.    Minimum computer hardware and software
    4.    Basic computer skills, i.e., word processing and email
    5.    Required reading, writing and math skills, self-discipline, motivation, and independent work skills

Once the admissions process is complete, students gain access to the Alamo Colleges District Intranet. This is where students access course content and their Alamo Colleges email account.

Finally, course orientation activities are at the discretion of each instructor.  Be sure to email your instructor before the scheduled orientation session and take the various assessment tests to determine your preparation and readiness to take an Internet course.