FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION (FAQs)
UCC ONLINE responds to the growing number of students who are eager to earn university degrees but who require more flexibility than the traditional on-campus courses allow. Studying via UCC Online is an attractive alternative because you can:
· Schedule course work around jobs and family responsibilities.
· Work independently.
· Acquire new skills and knowledge to compete in the workplace.
· Improve your lives through enriched learning experiences.
· Complete course work toward a university degree.
1. What is UCC Online?
UCC Online is a distance learning vehicle which uses technology to deliver UCC’s degree programmes. The programmes offered through UCC Online are offered using the following models:
· Fully online (except for end-of-module examinations for students in Jamaica). Students in Jamaica sit their end-of-module exams at their respective UCC Campus.
· Fully online (including end-of-module exams). This option is available to students not resident in Jamaica. Exams are proctored via online by ProctorU.
· Hybrid model, that is, students have the option to complete some of their courses online and other courses in the traditional face-to-face/classroom option. The Hybrid model is available currently only to students residing in Jamaica who can choose to pursue a course at one of UCC’s campuses.
2. How does the UCC Online mode of delivery work?
Students receive their instruction from lecturers via a web-based learning platform known as MOODLE.
· This platform allows students to view lecture content/notes, PowerPoint presentations, video and audio resources provided by lecturers. Lecture content is available from week one of the semester.
· Lecturers and students interact in (live/synchronous) chat sessions and discussion fora (asynchronous).
· Live chat sessions begin in the first week of the semester, are conducted via Zoom and run weekly. During the Fall and Spring semesters, chat sessions are one hour each week and are conducted after work hours between Mondays and Thursdays, on Saturday nights and/or Sundays. During the summer session, chat sessions will be approximately 80 minutes each. Chat sessions are recorded by the lecturer and posted within 24 – 48 business hours for students to re-play. Participation in chats is graded.
· Lecturers post their discussion questions (DQs) via the discussion forum in the first week of the semester. Students must respond to these questions and to the response of at least one classmate at the deadlines given. A minimum of five DQs is given for the semester. Participation is also graded.
· Lecturers also provide self-assessment quizzes for students. These are not graded but they help students to check if they are familiar with the material.
· Students submit assignments and sit exams (mid-module) online from the comfort of their home or office computer.
3. What degree programmes are offered at UCC Online?
UCC Online offers a Bachelor’s degree in the following areas:
· Business Administration
· Information Technology
· Human Resource Management
· Production & Operations Management
· Business Administration (with a major in Accounting)
· Business Administration (with a major in Financial Management)
· Business Administration (with a major in Accounting & Financial Management)
· Business Administration (with a major in Information Systems Management)
And graduate degrees in:
· UCC/Commonwealth Masters of Business Administration
· UCC/Commonwealth Masters of Public Administration
A programme of study may be withdrawn in the event of under-enrolment in a given cohort.
4. What will I need to take an online class?
Generally, you’ll need a computer with access to the Internet and a (UCC-student) email account. High Speed Internet Connectivity (ADSL) with a minimum bandwidth of 2Mbps for online courses is best to handle online courses because these courses typically use/include video and audio to deliver information.
Preparatory Sessions: Before starting your online classes each semester or teaching period, all students (new and returning) will be required to complete the scheduled Preparatory Session. This is meant to increase and improve your readiness for taking online classes during the semester.
5. Can I use a Smartphone or tablet for online classes?
You may use a Smartphone to read content material and listen into your live classes but …
• DO NOT attempt quizzes, mid-modules or coursework when using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, due to compatibility issues. Please ensure you have a Windows or Mac based computer available to complete coursework.
• For online examinations, DO NOT rely on wireless connection. A hard-wired connection plugged directly into a network jack or router provides a much more stable connection.
6. How do I apply for a degree programme being offered online?
Applicants interested in pursuing an undergraduate online degree should visit our website at www.ucc.edu.jm.
Follow instructions for sending your application. To complete your application, you must send the following:
a. Certified copies of your CSEC/GCE exam passes
b. Certified copy of your birth certificate
c. Certified copy of marriage certificate (if applicable)
d. An electronic passport size photo
You are also required to send an official transcript of any post-secondary studies you’ve done. This transcript must be sent directly from the institution at which those studies were completed to the UCC Registrar, 17 Worthington Avenue, Kingston 5. (If you are an international student, other documents will be required. Please contact the International Office by email for further information at: email@example.com).
Jamaicans applying for graduate studies will use this link to apply: http://ucc.edu.jm/apply/graduate.
Applicants will then be contacted via email by a member of the Registry staff with relevant follow up and a decision on admission is usually made within a month or less.
7. How do I get my textbooks and other course materials?
Students must purchase the required textbooks via online bookstores, The UCC Campus Store or traditional bookstores. Lecturers will send other resource materials such as e-texts or links to e-texts as necessary.
8. How do I interact with course instructors/lecturers?
· Asynchronously – your interaction is not in real time. This allows you to participate according to your schedule and be geographically apart from the lecturer.
· Synchronously – your interaction is real time which means you will have to be online at scheduled class times using Zoom video conferencing. The scheduled times are usually after work hours (except Fridays), Saturday nights and on Sundays. UCC Online will post a schedule of the chat times during the registration period on Aeorion as well as at our website at https://ucconline.ucc.edu.jm.
9. How many courses can I take per semester?
The University policy states that part-time undergraduate students register for a minimum of three UCC courses per 10 or 13-week semester and not more than 4 courses per semester. Students are advised to follow the sequence of courses as outlined in their curriculum map. Choose wisely too by examining the Sequence of Courses Offered Per Semester (shown on Moodle).
10. Is the curriculum the same as that conducted in face to face sessions?
Yes. All UCC students pursue the same courses and sit the same examinations as their counterparts across all campuses irrespective of location throughout the Caribbean and extra-regionally. This is in keeping with the University’s policy and is supported by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ).
11. How are exams given?
For students resident in Jamaica, end-of-module exams will be administered as paper-based exams in a proctored face-to-face setting at UCC campuses. Students outside of Jamaica sit their end-of-module exams from the comfort of their home using a ‘live’ online proctoring service, ProctorU. There is a fee of US$36.00 associated with proctoring of each exam by ProctorU. This fee is already calculated in the fees for students who select UCC Online Caribbean and UCC Online JO for the registration portal. This fee is non-refundable. Mid-semester exams are administered online.
12. What do I need to sit exams?
All students must have a valid UCC student ID and an exam permit to be admitted to exams (whether face-to-face or online). Ensure you have your IDs long before you need to use them for exams.
13. How do I get my student ID?
The UCC Online Coordinator will send instructions regarding this for overseas students but students assigned to a campus in Jamaica must visit their Campus to make arrangements for taking their student IDs. New students must have their offer letter with them. IDs are taken on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the main campus in Kingston.
14. How do students submit assignments?
Assignments are submitted electronically on the UCC Online course page (using Drop Box).
15. How are grades disclosed?
Coursework grades and grades for participation in Chat sessions and Discussion Questions are posted on UCC Online. Final grades are published on UCC’s student management system (SMS), Aeorion, which the student only can access using his username and password.
16. How much does a UCC Online course of study cost?
The cost for each programme varies, so please visit our website at www.ucc.edu.jm and click on the country in which you reside (or on tuition plans) to get the cost of your desired UCC Online programme. You may also contact our recruitment office at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the costs.
17. How can I pay for my online education at UCC?
You can pay for it yourself using UCC’s very flexible payment options, see if your employer offers an education assistance programme or seek scholarships and loans. Jamaican students can also visit the Student’s Loan Bureau (SLB) in Jamaica for financial assistance. Other grants are also available through your respective Governments. Financial aid deadlines are often much earlier than registration deadlines.
18. How do I pay my fees?
Students have the following options:
a. Online using Visa, MasterCard or NCB Keycard (Credit Cards) using your Aeorion account - Simply go to www.aeorion.ucc.edu.jm, log into the student account using your Aeorion student ID number, select the “Pay with Credit Card” link and follow the instructions.
b. From your BNS accounts using Scotia Online (Debit Cards) - Log on to your Scotia Online account, select UCC as the payee under the bill payment section, enter your eight digit Aeorion student ID as the account number, then submit. Proceed to make payment.
c. Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) - Payments can be made in cash, direct from your JNBS savings account, or online using the JN Live online facility. Students with debit/credit cards can withdraw funds from in-branch ATMs.
d. By manager’s cheque or debit or credit card at the Cashier, UCC Campus locations (please be guided by the opening hours of each location).
Students outside of Jamaica are required to pay their fees by credit card or by sending via courier, a manager’s cheque written to the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean to the attention of The Accountant, 17 Worthington Avenue, Kingston 5, Jamaica or by wire transfer. (For details on transmitting funds by wire transfer, please call the UCC Student Financial Services office at 1-876-665-3000/665-3978-80) or write to email@example.com.
19. I’d like to earn a university degree. How long will it take me?
There are several factors to consider:
- The type of degree you are seeking (for example, associate or bachelor or master’s) and the number of credits required for that degree;
- The number of credits you’ve already earned that will count toward your degree;
- The number of classes you’re able to take each semester (depending on your schedule and what you can afford).
Generally however, for part-time students, the minimum completion time for a UCC bachelor’s degree is approximately 4 ½ years. A Master’s degree takes 20 months (part-time).
20. Does UCC accept course credits from other institutions?
UCC will accept a relevant transferable course taken at an accredited college as long as you earned a “C” or better. The final decision however, rests with the Admissions Office. Evaluation of transcripts is done on official copies only.
21. How do I get a transcript from the schools I attended?
You will need to contact your former school(s) in writing with a request.
22. The school wants an official transcript. How do I know mine is official?
A signed transcript in a sealed envelope is considered official. It is usually sent directly from one registrar’s office to another. You may also request that official transcripts be sent to you in sealed envelopes and they will remain official as long as you do not open them. You can hand them to the Registrar or enclose them with your physical application.
23. How do online students receive certification?
- Students attending graduation receive their certificates at the ceremony.
- Students not attending graduation will receive their certificates in the mail.
- Students in the Caribbean may participate virtually but will be invited to attend the annual ceremony in Jamaica.
24. What online support do you have in place for students?
Online support comes in three forms:
- A Programme Coordinator is available Mondays to Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and on Fridays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Jamaica time) by telephone and email to handle all student queries as they relate to academic matters e.g. exam dates; missed deadlines; course information; course set up; UCC Online access; financial and registration direction.
- Technical support with respect to log in password; set up of UCC email account: firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Access to online library database which students are given after their passwords are activated.
25. What are the mechanisms in place for students’ complaints?
Students submit administrative complaints to their online Programme Coordinators at email@example.com and lecturer-related matters to the lecturer. If students are unable to reach their lecturers for any reason, they must inform their coordinator at once via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.