Online Success Checklist

As a student taking a CollegeNow Online course, you are required to work with a mentor at your high school. Your mentor will support you in your transition to college-level coursework in the online environment.

Managing your time effectively is essential to success in online courses. You will be required to log in to the course at least three times per week and complete all readings, assignments, and discussion posts by the specified deadlines. You should plan on dedicating 2.5 to 4 hours per week, per credit to your online courses. If you are unsure about whether the online environment is a good match for your learning style, visit our “Is It Right for You?” page.

Before the First Week of Class

  • Purchase ore rent any required textbooks. Find them at the TC3 Bookstore.
  • Familiarize yourself with the College’s Academic Standards and Grading Policies.
  • Review the Implications of Beginning a College Transcript.
  • Log in to your myTC3 account, select Web Courses, and complete the Blackboard Student Orientation. If your course has live remote meetings, download the Microsoft Teams app. Review Accessing Blackboard and Teams to learn more about these tools for your online courses.
  • If you do not participate in class for two consecutive weeks, you will be viewed as not attending the course and will be administratively withdrawn, which appears on your transcript as an AW.
  • Review the deadlines for dropping and withdrawing, which are posted on the College’s Academic Calendar. Online courses follow the College’s Academic Calendar. Usually, online courses start earlier than your high school begins the school year; also, school breaks may not align. You are responsible for submitting your work according the course outline’s schedule, regardless of whether you have classes at your high school that day.
  • If the student needs to drop or withdraw from the class, an Official Change of Schedule Form must be completed and submitted by the deadline.

During the First Week of Class

  • Log into your myTC3 and Blackboard accounts and review the course materials.
  • If you are having trouble navigating the online course environment, review the Blackboard Orientation again and contact Tech Support for assistance.
  • Print the course outline with due dates and decide on regular times during the week to log in to the course.
  • Understand the attendance policy for your course. At a miniumum, expect to participate in your course at least three times per week; this includes not only logging in, but doing assignments and/or submitting comments in the discussion forum, as required by your instructor. Instructors may administratively withdraw you if you fail to participate for two consecutiveweeks. Always contact your instructor if you expect any interruptions to your attendance.
  • Review the exam dates and deadlines for readings and assignments. Enter the dates into your planner, and use the calendar on your phone for reminders.
  • With your mentor, set up a schedule for weekly check-ins throughout the semester.
  • If you feel you cannot succeed in the course, you must drop or withdraw by the deadlines to avoid receiving a low grade. A drop leaves no record on your transcript. A withdrawal is recorded as a W, which does not affect your GPA, but does count as credits attempted and not earned. If you withdraw after the regular withdrawal deadline, you will either receive a WP (“withdraw pass”) or a WF (“withdraw fail”). A WF factors into the GPA as an F. Use this form to withdraw from the course. 

Throughout the Semester

  • If you have questions, contact the instructor and attend their office hours.
  • Check your grade regularly using the Gradebook in Blackboard or the course OER. Ask your instructor or mentor if you need help understanding your grade.
  • Follow the schedule you set with your mentor for regular check-ins.
  • Review deadlines of remaining assignments using the course outline’s schedule.
  • Pay attention to the important semester dates for course withdrawals. Tell your mentor if you feel you cannot earn a passing grade and need to withdraw. Use this form to withdraw from the course. 
  • Make use of Tompkins Cortland's Library services and Online Tutoring services.

For Students Taking Winter or Summer Online Courses

Summer and winter online courses are a great way to earn college credit while exploring potential career interests. However, you should take into account these special considerations due to the condensed nature of these courses.

  • Because winter and summer courses are offered in a condensed format, the drop and withdraw deadlines arrive much sooner. Review the Academic Calendar for winter and summer courses, and the drop and withdrawal deadlines.
  • Due to the compressed schedule, you are expected to cover more work at a faster pace.
  • Remember to factor in other commitments, including a summer job or family vacation, before you register.