Support Services and Resources

Support Services

Academic Support Services

Online Learning Technology

Online learning involves several types of technology to communicate with faculty, staff, and other students. Below are links that will support you in using the below technologies:

Free/Low Cost Internet and Computers

Information Technology Services has two open Computer Centers providing computer access to all registered Century College credit students. Staff is available to provide assistance in the use of the computer equipment.

Free and Low Cost Options for Internet

  • Internet Essentials - Comcast is offering an "Internet Essentials" package free for low-income customers for 60 days if applications are received by 12/31/2020. Internet Essentials offers qualified, low-income individuals 25 mbps in-home internet access for $9.95/month. The Internet Essentials program also has options to buy refurbished low-cost computers.
  • MIDCO Lifeline - Lifeline is a federal program intended to put home, phone, and internet service within the reach of qualifying families - giving low-income households affordable home phone or internet access.
  • Minnesota Office of Broadband Development - This site provides information on digital literacy, reduced rates for broadband service, and discounted computers.

Free and Low Cost Options for Computers

  • Computer loan - you may be able to borrow a laptop, Chromebook, or desktop from Century College if you need a computer. Please talk with either your advisor, counselor, or instructor, who will then make a request for you.
  • PCs for People - This option provides low cost internet and computers to individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements. The internet access is provided with mobile hot-spots, which would allow students to take it wherever it is needed.
  • Refurble - Provides low cost refurbished machines to students. 
  • Minnesota Computers for Schools is able to make free refurbished laptops available to students in need. They have a large supply now. These laptops are generally 3 years old and donated by businesses. They have newly installed Windows operating systems. Follow the instructions to apply.

Resources

New Learner's Checklist

Here is a checklist for you to help you succeed in online and hybrid classes. It consists of preparing yourself, preparing for the technology, what to do when the class first opens, and what to do throughout the semester.

Netiquette

Netiquette is short for Internet etiquette. It is a code for appropriate communication rules on the Internet. Learn the basic rules of netiquette for your online classes.

Computer Requirements

To run a system check, go to your D2L Brightspace login page and click on "Please click here for a System Check before you login."

To complete an online degree program or take courses completely from your home computer, your computer system will need to meet some basic minimum requirements to be able to use D2L Brightspace, our online learning management system.

Check the college website and/or D2L Brightspace for specific course requirements.

Software

You will need the following software:

  • Operating System: Windows 7 or higher or Mac OSx10
  • Office Suite: Office 365 - Minnesota State provides this systemwide

Hardware

You will need the following hardware:

  • Computer Type: Laptop or desktop
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 processor or higher
  • Hard Drive: 160 GB hard drive or larger
  • RAM: 4 GB required
  • CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive, optional
  • Ethernet Network required
  • Wireless Network required
  • USB Flash Drive - 1GB+

Additional Information

When you enroll in a program or course with a specific school, check with that school for additional options and requirements (e.g., Microsoft Word is required by many online instructors) specific to online learning.

  • D2L Brightspace Support Site: up-to-date information, recommendations, and requirements for the D2L Brightspace learning management system.
  • Software training for students: Century College provides access to a wide variety of software resources and training. Some examples include Office 365, Adobe, and LinkedIn Learning.

Planning for Success

Here is a student success toolbox that can provide you with important insights about how to succeed when taking online and hybrid courses.  
 
Tool 1: Am I Ready for Study?
You may ask yourself if you are ready for online learning. This tool can help you answer this question and provide personal advice based on your responses. There are only five sets of questions, so it doesn’t take long to complete.  

Tool 2: Do I Have Enough Time?
Do you have enough time to complete classes online? This tool can help you calculate the time you spend on other activities and provides advice on how much study you could realistically do in your free time. This is only a guide.

Tool 3: Who Can I Ask?
Who can help you as you take online classes? This tool can help you identify people who might support you and give you advice on how to succeed in your online classes.

    Tips and Expectations for Online Learning

    Here are top tips from Century College faculty to help you succeed in online learning!

    Netiquette

    1. As in face to face communication, there are unwritten rules and expectations about how to interact online. Learn the basic rules of netiquette, or how to communicate online appropriately.

    Communicate

    1. Check email & D2L daily. Forwarding email only works for receiving, not sending, messages, both in D2L and your Century account.
    2. Communicate with teachers and tutors! Allow 24-48 hours for responses, list your course/section (ECT 1001-90, for example), and use your Century account.
    3. If in doubt, ask. Others may have the same question, and the instructor can answer everyone with one post.
    4. Tell family and others what you need to study online, and collaborate on a way to meet the needs of others in the household as they do things online, too.

    Be Strategic About Studying

    1. Break down big assignments into smaller tasks to do throughout the semester. Do not wait until the last minute!
    2. Find a quiet place for study and limit outside distractions, including social media.

    Be Realistic About Your Time

    1. Plan 3-4 hours of homework/study time per credit per week, including what would normally happen in-class.
    2. Actively, intentionally schedule tasks, due dates, and time for lessons or assignments.
    3. Be careful not to lose track of time if you are researching online (very easy to do!).

    Don't Let the Technology Overwhelm You

    1. Learning new technologies like D2L can feel impossible, but there are wonderful resources to help you, and you can do this.
    2. Be patient with yourself, your instructor, and those around you as we all learn how to navigate this new situation. We are in this together!
    3. Ask for help or extensions, whether due to technology or other challenges; we know you are trying your best.
    4. Save your work to your computer frequently, just in case something goes wrong with the technology.

    Connect With Others

    1. Join a study group online to go over course materials and assignments.
    2. Actively participate in online discussions and activities.

    Take Care of Yourself

    1. Get enough exercise and sleep. 
    2. Take breaks between blocks of study time.

    Just for Fun

    1. Consider changing the background in your Zoom meeting!
    2. Reward yourself after completing your online learning goals!