While many colleges are focused on how to move classes online, Diablo Valley College is well ahead of the curve.
“DVC has been offering online classes for a long time. Our initial focus was on figuring out how to place a class online. But after much success, we are now focused on the quality of online education. We are also ensuring that we increase equity, especially for underserved populations,” said Anne Kingsley, the distance education coordinator for DVC.
DVC recently received a $500,000 grant from the Improving Online CTE Pathways Grants program, through the California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI). The grant funds are intended to boost the quality, quantity and access to online offerings in career education.
DVC currently offers a number of fully online programs, and there are more on the horizon.
“Our fully online programs make it possible for students to complete classes without coming to campus. This opens pathways for students who may be juggling family, work, health or other responsibilities,” said Kingsley.
The benefits are clear, especially when many community members are working from home due to COVID-19. DVC’s progress with the grant enabled the faculty to ramp up and prepare for the transition to online classes.
“We hosted trainings on creating online activities, use of video, online proctoring, using Zoom and more. We were able to create plans to ensure class continuity, student guidelines for remote learning and develop equitable practices for online classrooms,” said Kingsley.
Efforts were also focused on preparing students.
“DVC set up a Chromebook loan program that enabled students to bring laptops home rather than only use them in the library. We also worked to get students onboarded to Zoom and helped clarify how to use Canvas more effectively,” said Kingsley.
The shift to remote learning has had positive benefits.
“COVID-19 has resulted in valuable discussions about student and faculty success in an online setting. These discussions have enriched the direction of online education, especially as it relates to equity, disability and helping underserved populations. We want to make sure we are designing culturally responsive and equitable courses,” said Kingsley.
Kingsley knows that robust online offerings are important for DVC and the community it serves. When the urgency of the pandemic is in the past, online options will still be offered.
“Students need the flexibility of online education. We offer a stronger quality of education than many for-profit online colleges. Our classes are available at a lower cost and our faculty is accessible either online or on-campus,” said Kingsley.
For more information about DVC online education, visit www.dvc.edu/online-education.
Fully Online Programs at DVC
Administration of Justice Department
AS* Administration of justice
AS-T* Administration of justice
CA Administration of justice
CC Administration of justice – community relations specialist
CC Administration of justice – correctional specialist
CC Administration of justice – criminal law specialist
CC Administration of justice – juvenile counseling
Art-Digital Media Department
CA** Web design – coming soon
CA** Graphic web design – coming soon
CA Advanced general business
CA Business – transfer
CA Business marketing
CA Digital marketing
CA General business
CA Management and leadership studies
CA Real estate
CA Small business management/entrepreneurship
CA Wealth management
CC Business essentials
CA Advanced accounting
CA General accounting
CA Office professional
CC Office professional essentials
Computer Information Systems Department
AS* Computer information systems
CA CIS – core
CA Computer information systems – database management
CA Computer information systems – project management
CA Computer information systems – web graphics
CA Computer information systems – web technology
CC Computer information systems – database management
CC Computer information systems – project management
CC Computer information systems – web graphics
CC Computer information systems – web technology
CC Microsoft windows systems administration
Computer Network Technology Department
CA** Computer Network Technology – coming soon
Computer Science Department
AS* Computer science
CA Computer science – advanced C++ programming
CA Computer science – mobile and enterprise java programming
CA Computer science – program design
CA Computer user support
AA* Geography for transfer
CC Geographic information systems/global positioning system
AA-T* History for transfer
CA*** Transfer Studies – CSU
CA*** Transfer Studies – IGETC
*Note: AA and AA-T degrees require additional GE courses, many of which can be completed online or as hybrids
**These programs will soon be available fully online. Contact the department for details.
***To complete a transfer studies certificate fully online, students may need to take some of their online classes through another college within the district.
CA = Certificate of achievement
CC = Certificate of completion
AA = Associate in arts
AS = Associate in science
AA-T = Associate in arts for transfer
DVC Online FAQ
How has COVID-19 impacted DVC’s plans for summer and fall classes?
Summer classes are fully online. Fall classes will be a mix of fully online and partially online formats.
What are the primary traits of a successful online student?
Online education is a great option for many students. It does help if you are a self-starter with good organizational skills. Some students wonder if they will be successful at adapting to an online setting. DVC has many resources to help ensure you are ready for remote learning. For more information, visit https://www.dvc.edu/services.html.
What should first-time remote learners know about online education at DVC?
Our main goal is to ensure the quality of education, in whatever format classes are delivered. Having a strong instructor presence is key. DVC remote learners have direct access to instructors, student services and administration.
DVC is an outstanding, affordable choice for education and career training. First-time, full-time students may qualify for free tuition for their first two years. Students who aren’t eligible pay just $46 per unit.
What is the student’s experience in an online class?
An online class has many similarities to an in-person class. Your instructor will provide a syllabus that details what is required. There will typically be a mix of assignments, such as discussion posts, reading, watching videos, quizzes, essays, special projects, etc. Most classes also require online exams. Quizzes and exams are often open-book and open-note.
Some classes will have students meet via Zoom during specified class hours so that students can interact with the instructor and each other.
In the beginning of the course, some form of meet n’ greet is also typical, where students are asked to get to know each other. So, jump in and be excited to join the group!
Can you share some success strategies for remote learners?
Learn how to organize and calendar your week. Create a schedule to study and keep up with classes. Share your schedule with those who live with you.
Make sure you have a reliable computer with internet access. Having your own access to that device is key. If you have unreliable internet, consider a laptop in case you have to seek out wifi at a local library or coffee shop. Let your counselor know if you are struggling with accessing technology. Mobile will work for check-ins, but not for long-term course work, essays and exams that need to be completed online.
Check-in frequently. Make sure that checking on what is due is a daily habit. Learn the patterns of each course and continue to read updates and announcements. Get the Canvas app to help you check-in. The calendar and gradebook functions are really helpful.
Reach out to your instructor. Set up an online office hour as you begin your work. Knowing your professor will help you convey your needs as you go through the course.
Stay involved and engaged with your peers. Sometimes everyone is hesitant to start the online community. Jump in, say “hi” on discussions, actively participate and you’ll see that others will take that energy and do the same.
What are the minimum technology requirements needed for taking an online class?
Online students need a computer with internet access. We recommend that each student have individual access to a computer. Shared access to a “household computer” is an option, but isn’t ideal. This is because having to share a computer can limit the ability to complete and submit assignments on time.
What DVC resources are available to online students?
Most student services and resources are now offered online. This includes:
- Online tutoring through DVC’s own tutors as well as through NetTutor.
- Virtual student technology helpdesk
- Online counseling through Cranium Café, DVC’s new virtual student services platform, as well as through Zoom
- Other student services are moving online, including financial aid.