Online Student FAQs

Registration

When do I register for my classes?
Registration for fall semester classes generally begins in April. Registration for spring semester classes generally begins in November. Registration for summer courses generally begins in March. However, you should check the academic calendar for exact dates. Your advisor will also have exact dates for when registration opens for each term. You are ultimately responsible for knowing when to register for your courses; you should register for your online courses as early as possible to assure you can get the classes you need.

How do I know what course(s) to register for next?
You should register for course(s) based on three considerations. First, always work with your academic advisor when choosing your next course(s). Second, review your Advising Worksheet for specific information you should consider to identify what course(s) you need. You can access your Advising Worksheet in My.JohnsonU.edu under the Academics heading. Third, take courses according to their level, i.e. complete 1000-level courses before registering for 2000 level courses and so on. My.JohnsonU.edu also has degree plans that identify required courses for the various degree programs.

How do I register for my classes?
You should first discuss course selection with your academic advisor to assure that the course(s) meet credit hour requirements, program requirements, academic goals, etc. You can access the Registration webpage in My.JohnsonU.edu under the Academics heading. The Registration webpage contains helpful information including the Add/Drop Courses section at the bottom of the page where you register for your courses. Once you click on the Add/Drop Courses section, be sure to select the correct term and session. In the next box click the Course Search tab and then the Search Button. Choose the course(s) for which you want to enroll. When you finish, click on the Add Course(s) box to complete your registration. You can also locate specific course information by clicking on the Course Search link at the bottom of the Registration webpage.

Textbooks

How do I know what textbooks are needed for my classes? How and when do I order them?
The University Bookstore website accessible through My.JohnsonU.edu lists required textbooks by course and contains information about how to order them. The bookstore makes textbook lists available one month prior to courses beginning.

Are the textbooks available as Kindle or e-reader?
Some textbooks are available on Kindle and/or e-reader. The bookstore provides information about availability.

Academic Credit

I attended a previous college. How many of my credits will transfer?
At least 25% of the required coursework for an undergraduate degree, certificate, or other academic credential from Johnson University must be awarded by Johnson University. Students may transfer, for example, a maximum of 90 hours of appropriate courses which meet requirements for a 120-hour undergraduate program. A detailed description of the transfer of credit policy can be found in the Residency Requirements and Credit for Prior Learning sections of the Johnson University academic catalog.

What is CLEP and how can I get credit?
Students who qualify through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) may receive advanced standing and/or exemption from certain courses in the Johnson University curriculum. The Policies & Procedures Credit section of the Johnson University academic catalog describes the CLEP process and lists courses which qualify.

Student Services

What student services are available for students taking online courses?
Online students have an academic advisor. They also have online access to the Academic Support Center, career counseling, Financial Aid Office, library, and Registrar’s Office. The University provides all of the student services for online students (as needed) as our face-to-face students receive.

Am I welcome to come to Knoxville for commencement ceremonies?
Yes! All students are encouraged to attend the commencement ceremonies. The dates for these ceremonies can be found on the academic calendar. If you plan to participate in the commencement ceremonies, you must first meet all graduation requirements and submit all graduation forms and fees. You can access graduation information in my.JohnsonU.edu under the Academics heading.

I’m moving. Do I need to submit a Change of Address form?
Yes. You can access the official form in My.JohnsonU.edu under the Academics heading. Click on the Academic Forms & Resources and then choose the Address Change Request. Complete and submit the form according to the instructions provided.

What is the difference between drop and withdraw?
The differences include date, grade on the transcript, and financial implications.

Drop: You may drop a course through My.Johnsonu.edu through the first three days of the 7-week session, but you should be aware that dropping a course can affect full-time student status, financial aid, and VA benefits. No grade is entered on your transcript.

Withdraw: You may withdraw from a course with a grade of “W” (withdrawal) before 5:00 p.m. EST on the fifth Friday of the session. Withdrawals are effective on the date you deliver a completed Withdrawal Form or email. You are responsible for tuition and fees for the course. Possible consequence of withdrawing is loss of current or future financial aid and/or loss of some VA benefits.

How do I drop?
You may drop a course through the University’s online enrollment system or Registrar’s Office. You may drop by going to the Add/Drop section of My.Johnsonu.edu and selecting the class on your schedule you choose to drop.

What is the drop deadline?
You may drop a course through My.Johnsonu.edu before 5:00 p.m. EST within the first three days of the 7-week session.

What are the financial implications of drop?
Dropping a course can affect full-time student status, financial aid, and VA benefits. You should seek the advice of your academic advisor to evaluate how dropping a course affects requirements and academic goals. You should consult with a financial aid counselor regarding financial implications.

How do I withdraw?
You are responsible for tuition and fees for the course. You should contact your financial aid counselor regarding possible financial consequences for withdrawing from a course. You should then contact your academic advisors for approval of the withdrawal. They will direct you to the correct withdrawal form for the degree.

What is the withdraw deadline?
The withdraw deadline is the fifth Friday of the course by 5:00 pm.

What are the financial implications of withdrawing?
You are responsible for tuition and fees for the course. Possible consequences of withdrawing are loss of current or future financial aid and/or loss of some VA benefits. You should consult with your academic advisors, financial aid counselor, and veterans SCO prior to withdrawing.

How do I change my degree?
Contact your academic advisor, who can discuss your academic goals, future goals, and reasons for your consideration of changing your degree. There are sometimes implications in changing degrees which you might not know about. Once you weigh out the implications of changing your degree, you can access the official form from My.JohnsonU.edu under Academics in the banner. Click on Academic Forms & Resources and choose the Addition or Change of Program form. Complete and submit the form according to the instructions provided.

I recently married. How do I change my name?
You can access the official form from My.JohnsonU.edu. Click on Academics in the top menu and then on Academic Forms & Resources and choose the Name Change Request Form. Complete and submit the form according to the instructions provided.

Questions about Degree Programs

What degrees do you offer?
Johnson University offers three levels of academic online degree programs: associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees including master’s level and Ph.D. level. Students can also complete several graduate certificate programs online. Visit the Academics tab of our site to learn more about every degree program.

How do I know which degree fits me best?
All online programs at Johnson University provide educational opportunities aimed at educating students for Christian ministries and other strategic vocations framed by the Great Commission in order to extend the kingdom of God among all nations. To that end, at least three factors influence most students in choosing which online program best suits them. First, choose a program which meets your personal, professional, and/or ministry interests and goals. Second, choose a program in accordance with your academic level. Perhaps you attended college years ago and/or did not do well in school. You might consider starting slowly by taking only one course at a time in an area of your interests. If you have little or no previous college education, you might choose either an associate or bachelor’s degree program. If you already have an undergraduate degree, you might want to consider a graduate-level program. Finally, you want to consider program requirements before choosing a program. If you’re interested in several programs, consider taking a course or two in one or more major areas to see which meets your interests and goals. If you want to consider changing degree programs, consult both your present academic advisor and the academic advisor of the degree program into which you want to transfer to discuss how the change might affect you.

How long does it take to complete an online degree?
Several factors affect degree completion time: degree level, how many courses you take per 7-week session, whether you have transfer credit from other colleges, and personal factors. Starting with little or no transfer credit, a student can complete a bachelor’s degree in four calendar years by taking two courses per seven-week session in the fall and spring and two during the summer. Transferring college credit and CLEP can cut down the length of time to complete degrees. Graduate programs have different time factors but are not unlike face-to-face completion times. They generally allow only one course per seven-week session. Taking the maximum number of courses per seven-week session every session is the best way to complete your program in the shortest amount of time.

How do I know what courses are required for my degree program?
You can find the required courses for your degree program in four sources. First, the Johnson University academic catalog contains a detailed list of course requirements for all academic programs.

Second, your academic advisor can provide you with the required courses. Third, your Advising Worksheet contains a list of required courses as well as other helpful information about your academic progress. You can access your Advising Worksheet in My.JohnsonU.edu under the Academics heading. Fourth, in My.JohnsonU.edu under the Academics tab you’ll find Degree Plans that identify required courses for the various degree programs.

How do I change my degree?
Contact your academic advisor who can speak with you more about your academic goals, future goals, and reasons for your consideration of changing your degree. There are sometimes implications in changing degrees which you might not have thought about. Once you weigh out the implications with changing your degree, you can access the official form from My.JohnsonU.edu. Click on Academics in the top menu and then on Academic Forms & Resources and choose the Addition or Change of Program form. Complete and submit the form according to the instructions provided.

Academic Advising

Who is my advisor?
At the time of admission into an online program, every student is assigned an academic advisor (undergraduate) or program director (graduate). They communicate frequently and directly with their student advisees. Online students can also seek help and information from their academic advisors. Your advisor’s name is also listed on your Advising Worksheet in My.JohnsonU.edu in the Academics section.

Academic Support Center

The Academic Support Center offers the same help to online students as face-to-face students without those students having to travel to campus. Perhaps the most helpful service is online academic coaching available through the Support Center’s website.  The site provides access to many resources for online students, including time management tips, study skills training, proofreading and writing skills, test-taking skills, and resources for students with disabilities.

Financial Aid

How can I find out information about financial aid available to online students?
Online students may receive financial aid depending on their financial situation. You can access financial aid information and learn how to apply on the Johnson University website.

Library

Can I use the Johnson University library?
Yes. Johnson University encourages online students to use the library resources at the library website. The website includes a section devoted to Online students. It explains all resources and services available to online students and the processes necessary to access them. The library website also contains access to the many resources and services students need for their educational experience.

Technology

How do I get help with access to email or Sakai?
You access online courses in Sakai and email using your university-issued user name and password. This protocol protects all personal information within the course. The University encourages students to change their passwords periodically through the Password Management system found in My.JohnsonU.edu. Your enrollment counselor and/or academic advisor can also help you with the login process. The University provides a 24/7 Helpdesk accessible through all Sakai courses. The Helpdesk provides help with Johnson-specific academic software and other related technology problems, but not individual student network or device issues.

What document file types must I use when submitting assignment for online courses?
Files submitted by students must be accessible by course instructors and sometimes students in the course, so using a common file type is imperative. Instructors typically require students to submit written assignments as Microsoft Word files. For some courses, students produce course presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint files. You have free access to Microsoft Office programs such as Word and PowerPoint, so you can submit assignments using the required file type.

What if I do not have Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) on my computer? Do I have to buy a copy?
No! To ensure you can submit assignments and course presentations using required file types, Johnson University provides free access to Microsoft Office programs including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and others. You have two options regarding how to access the free programs. First, you can access Microsoft Office 365. You simply access the program you need from the Microsoft Cloud as you need it. You do not need to download the programs; however, you must have access to the internet when you want to use the programs. Office 365 allows you to share files for collaborative projects.

The second option allows you to download a copy of the Microsoft Professional Plus for Students. This option requires long download times and adequate computer memory, but it also assures you have the programs and files you want even when not connected to the internet. To access, click Microsoft Professional Plus for Students.

The ORCC

What is the ORCC?
ORCC stands for Online Readiness Course Certification. Two classifications of students must complete the ORCC. First, if you are a Resident/Face-to-Face student taking your first online seven-week class, you will need to complete the ORCC. Second, if you are an online degree-seeking student with sufficient transfer credits and taking your first online course, you will need to complete the ORCC. You can access the course site in Sakai under the tab ORCC. You can look in “More Sites” and do a search for it if you do not see it. The ORCC helps prepare you to succeed in online courses offered by Johnson University. If you have already taken the ORCC or have already taken a seven-week online class with Johnson, you do not need to take or retake the ORCC. If you are currently enrolled in the Online Cornerstone or have already passed the Online Cornerstone, you do not need to take the ORCC. Once you start the certification course, it will only take you an hour or two to complete.

Time Management

What is attendance like in an online class?
While instructors do not take daily class attendance in online courses, you must log in to your class within the first three days of class or be dropped from the class. Instructors require students to actively and regularly engage in class. They require weekly participation in discussion forums and completion of assignments. To get behind in a seven-week course generally means students have difficulty getting caught up once they fall behind. You should plan to work on your class daily during the seven weeks.

How many hours a day/week will I need to be available for classwork?
The number of hours you spend per day depends on your schedule. Most online courses take seven weeks to complete. Undergraduate students should plan to spend about 16 hours per week per course and graduate students about 21 hours per week per course. This scheduling commitment allows time to complete weekly assignments and learning experiences, reflect on course content, research and write, and study for quizzes and tests. Spending this much time each week compares to the amount of time a student should expect to devote in a three-hour face-to-face course. You should work some every day on your course rather than wait until the weekend to complete your work. This is true especially for participating in discussion forums throughout the week.

What time of the day do I need to be available?
All online courses offered through Johnson University are asynchronous, meaning students do not need to log in at specific times. You can do your coursework whenever it suits your schedule. However, you should log in to your course daily because instructors require work to be completed every week during the seven-week course.

Academic Calendar and Pacing

Is there a fall and spring break for online students like campus courses?
Yes. Online students have the same fall and spring breaks as face-to-face students even though most online courses follow a seven-week cycle throughout the year.

I’m an undergraduate student taking a seven-week online course, but I find the beginning and ending dates listed in the academic calendar confusing. Can you clarify?
Most online courses run for seven weeks; however, a few online programs have eight-week courses. The Academic Calendar accessible at the Johnson University website contains beginning and ending dates for each academic eight-week session. The confusion comes because there is typically a week break following each seven-week session except between the first summer and second summer sessions. When you look at the ending dates, remember the end date for seven-week online courses is a week before the date listed as the end date for the eight-week session. In other words, the beginning and ending dates for seven-week online courses include both the seven-week session and a week break. This is true except for the first summer session as noted above.

Technology Skills

How can I get help with technology problems?
The University provides a 24/7 Helpdesk accessible through all Sakai courses. The Helpdesk provides help with Johnson-specific academic software and other related technology problems, but not individual student network or device issues.

How do I access my online class?
You access online courses in Sakai using your university-issued user name and password. This protocol protects all personal information within the course. The University encourages students to change their passwords periodically through the Password Management system. Your enrollment counselor and/or academic advisor can also help you with the login process. You should see your course in Sakai on the date the course actually begins according to the academic calendar.

Do I watch videos?
Many, but not all, online courses provide links to videos, including lectures and other course content-related resources.

What is My.Johnsonu.edu?
Johnson University provides online students with access to their own secure portal through My.JohnsonU.edu. It contains university information they might want or need, including Johnson email, Sakai login portal, current course schedules, grades, financial aid and billing information, and textbook lists. The University applies FERPA standards by protecting students’ personal information.