Counselor Guidelines

High school students can and do succeed in the college-level online learning environment. In fact, more than 90 percent of CollegeNow students earn an A or B in online courses. Advisors play an essential role in ensuring student success in college-level online coursework.

As an advisor, you should be a person familiar with the student’s skills, the required college-level entrance skills, and the implications of beginning a college transcript. The following checklist is designed to help you determine whether a student can succeed in an online environment:

  • Does the student possess the college-level skills necessary to succeed? Read the summary of college-level entrance skills. Each of these is expected for every student in an online course. If you are a counselor acting as an advisor, consider consulting with the appropriate subject teacher to check on the student’s specific skills and abilities. Current AP Language and Composition students may enroll in courses with an ENGL101 co-requisite; courses listing an ENGL101 pre-requisite may only be taken by students who have passed ENGL101 or earned a score of 3 or higher on the AP Language and Composition exam, or who are currently enrolled and excelling in AP Literature and Composition. For additional AP course equivalents, please refer to this chart.
  • Does the student have strong reading comprehension skills?Online courses, in particular, require high-level reading comprehension skills.
  • Has the student demonstrated strong organizational and time management skills? For most students, the primary adjustment to the online environment is time management; a student is required to log in to a course at least three times per week and complete all readings, assignments, and discussion posts by specified deadlines – all without the structure of a traditional classroom.
  • Review with the student the Implications of Beginning a College Transcript. When a student enrolls in a college-level course, a college transcript is initiated. Low or failing grades can negatively impact the student’s academic future, including academic standing and future financial aid eligibility. Please make students aware before they register of the importance of their college-level course grades.
  • Review Tompkins Cortland’s Academic Integrity Policy with the student. All students earning college credits through Tompkins Cortland are subject to the college’s standards of Academic Integrity.

This page can be printed and used in advisor and mentor meetings. The CollegeNow staff is available to assist high school advisors in determining whether a student can be successful in an online course. In cases of uncertainty, we are happy to provide a diagnostic skill assessment for the student. Please contact to discuss diagnostic options.