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Online Certificate Frequently Asked Questions

The following are "frequently asked questions" for the online certificates at SMSU.

  1. What is the difference between a bachelor's degree and a certificate?
  2. How much will this cost?
  3. Do I qualify for financial aid?
  4. Is there technical support?
  5. What type of Internet access is recommended?
  6. What computer programs will I need?
  7. What happens if my Internet goes down?
  8. Will I have an advisor to help me?
  9. Will I have access to the Library? Can I request material?
  10. Who can I call if I have questions?

Certificate FAQs

Q:

What is the difference between a bachelor's degree and a certificate?

A:

A bachelor's degree is an academic program where learners study a specific subject, completing 120 credits hours of study. Certificates are academic programs of nine (9) to 18 credits that provide specialized study for people who need to upskill or reskill their career qualifications.

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Q:

How much will this cost?

A:

SMSU is very affordable. You can find the current rate for online courses at the Undergraduate Tuition Rate web pages.

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Q:

Do I qualify for financial aid?

A:

Possibly, sometime financial aid can be available for certificates if you are seeking a professional certification for your employment. Some of the certificates can lead to professional certifications in some states. More information on which certificates may be eligible can be found at this website.

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Q:

Is there technical support?

A:

Yes! There are options for technical support for SMSU students. The Technology Resource Center (TRC) has Help Desk is available for over 15 hours during the week with shorter hours on weekends & holidays. TRC is available by phone or email and are very responsive and user-friendly. The Minnesota State College & University System also has technical support for students.

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Q:

What type of Internet access is recommended?

A:

You will need Internet service that is capable of streaming video and uploading documents. Desire to Learn (D2L) is the current learning management platform for the online learning courses. Google Chrome is the recommended browser to access D2L.

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Q:

What computer programs will I need?

A:

Microsoft Office such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint are required. You should also have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files.

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Q:

What happens if my Internet goes down?

A:

Temporary down times in service should not be an issue. However, if a disruption in a timed or dated quiz or exam happens, students should contact their professors. They can be reached by phone in such situation. Professors should also be contacted immediately if Internet service will be down for an extended period of time.

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Q:

Will I have an advisor to help me?

A:

Yes, you will be assigned a faculty advisor to help you plan your degree path that meets with your specific situation and needs. They will help you throughout your educational journey.

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Q:

Will I have access to the Library? Can I request material?

A:

Yes, you will have full access to the McFarland Library, which has a vast array of electronic resources as well as an interlibrary loan option that allows borrowing books and articles not owned by the McFarland Library.

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Q:

Who can I call if I have questions?

A:
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Last Modified: 12/15/20 10:39 AM | Website Feedback