Online Learning

As part of the mission to deliver high quality instruction in convenient scheduling formats, Maria College offers online and hybrid courses to ensure students have the opportunity to take college courses in a nontraditional learning environment that allows them to complete course work at locations and times that are convenient. Online learning lets you complete coursework at locations and times that are convenient for you.

While most work is done remotely using web-based technology to facilitate what is essentially a face-to-face course. some courses may require on-campus meetings for labs or exams. Most online courses are completed within the timeline of a regular semester. Online courses are those that deliver 80% or more course content online and there are typically no face-to-face meetings (except for the mandatory new student orientations). Hybrid courses combine online and face-to-face instruction, delivering at least 30% of the content online, typically requiring scheduled contact time, for example labs, and/or examinations.

As an online student, you have access to the same student support services as students who attend face-to-face courses on campus. See the array of student support services offered or email:

The tuition and fees for an online course are the same as the tuition and fees for a regular or traditional face-to-face course. View information on the current tuition. The method in which a course is taught does not affect financial aid. A student wishing to take an online course must meet all of the regular federal and state financial aid eligibility requirements. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions about eligibility or the financial aid process: Main Building, Room 100 or phone: (518) 861-2586 or email: You can also view information about financial aid.

Is online learning for me?
Online courses are not for everyone. To be a successful online learner you must be self-directed, plus have both satisfactory time management and technology skills. Online learners work well alone, are not procrastinators, have good reading and comprehension skills, resist distractions, and are comfortable without the social elements of face-to-face courses in the classroom.

To help you determine whether online learning will work for you, and to give you a better understanding of the expectations for online students, we have provided two assessments: (1) the Personal Readiness Assessment and (2) the Technical Skills Assessment. Please click on these links to access the assessments, then complete and print to either bring or scan and email to your instructor and/or academic advisor if required.  Keep track of your answers, because an evaluation of those answers follows the assessments. (If you are a matriculated student at the College, you should complete the assessments and go over them with your academic advisor before registering for an online course.)

If you want to come to campus, Maria College has a number of wireless hotspots on campus where students and faculty can connect with a wireless-enabled computer. Wireless hotspots are available in the Library and in the Student Lounge in the Main Building, as well as in the Marian Hall, Room 105.

Blackboard—Virtual Learning Environment
Maria uses the Blackboard course management system to deliver courses over the Internet. Blackboard allows you to access online course materials, submit homework assignments, and communicate with the instructor and other students. Blackboard Learn is a virtual learning environment and course management system that enables Maria College instructors to put class materials on the Internet. It provides a variety of tools to facilitate teaching and learning.

In order to use Blackboard, you will need a computer with Internet capabilities, enabling you to access Blackboard from Maria’s website homepage. You are expected to log on to Blackboard regularly. Think of Blackboard as a place to locate essential information that you may need to complete a course. You will find the following types of information on Blackboard:

  • Announcements
  • Course documents/materials
  • Course syllabus
  • Assignments/homework
  • Tests/quizzes
  • Discussion boards
  • Student rosters/email addresses
  • Grades
  • Link to Maria College library