Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for considering the online programs of Biola University’s School of Education!  The following Frequently Asked Questions were prepared to help you learn more about how our online programs work and the type of student that is most successful with online education. 

  1. What qualities does a student need to have to succeed in an online learning program?
  2. What is the usual/average number of classes taken per semester in an online program?  How many years should I expect to study in my online program?
  3. How are online classes scheduled and how I would interact with my professor and peers?
  4. Will I have flexibility in the number of classes taken per semester?
  5. Is there a different timeline required for online degree completion than an in-person degree?
  6. What is the usual cost for each class?
  7. Can Biola University’s online programs work for someone that is relatively new to the education field, or someone who is looking to switch career paths?
  8. If I want to teach out of California, what path is recommended?
  9. What rules of etiquette are expected as an online student?
  10. How does the success rate for those who complete your online program differ from that of students taking in person classes?
  11. How do online students have the opportunity to engage with others in their class or field of study for community, prayer, and encouragement?
  12. How could online students explore networking opportunities and connections outside of their home study environment for the possibility of job and ministry leads?
  13. Are online classroom studies thoroughly integrated with biblical teachings from Scripture like Biola's on-campus classes?
  14. Some of the online classes I am interested in taking have a fieldwork component.  How will I complete this fieldwork as an online student?
  15. What kind of workload should I expect in an online course?  What is expected of me as a student?
  16. I still have more questions. How can I get them answered?

 

  1. What qualities does a student need to have to succeed in an online learning program?

As with any program in higher education, there are several inherent qualities a student needs in order to be successful. These same qualities apply to online students as well. Distance-Education.org lists six qualities of a successful online student as:

  • You are good at time management.
  • You are an independent learner.
  • You have excellent reading and writing and communication skills.
  • You are comfortable with technology.
  • You are good at setting goals.
  • You have a good support team around you.

You may want to consider taking a FREE online learning readiness assessment by clicking here.

  1. What is the usual/average number of classes taken per semester in an online program?  How many years should I expect to study in my online program?

Full-time students take an average of three classes per semester and part-time students, one to two classes.  Our average is two 3-unit classes per semester.  For a suggested timeline of the program in which you are interested, click here, find your anticipated program and view its Program Sheet.

  1. How are online classes scheduled and how I would interact with my professor and peers?

Most classes within Biola’s School of Education graduate programs are asynchronous, meaning that you do not need to be online with your professor or peers at the same time.  For example, one professor sets us her class where you write responses to discussion questions within a 3-day window and are then interacting with 3-5 posts, responding to peers’ ideas.  You may also be asked to provide a journal entry of your personal thoughts regarding various curriculum issues.  In addition to the posts and journal, you might have a research paper and 5-6 other shorter assignments.  Some of these may be done in groups using email, Skype and other interactive platforms.  Occasionally, a professor will have an online open forum where a group of students can synchronously dialogue with the professor and with other students. 

Our classes are taught on the Canvas Learning Management System, which allows you to interact seamlessly with both professor and your fellow students.  On the user interface, there is a place for “hall talk” to speak about non-class issues with your peers; some professors use this as a forum for prayer requests or praises. While each professor runs his or her course differently, the commonality is robust interactions and discussion with Christian educators around the world. 

  1. Will I have flexibility in the number of classes taken per semester?

Yes.  You determine and take the number of classes that best fits into your schedule.  Your advisor can assist you in determining the best courseload and sequence of your program. 

  1. Is there a different timeline required for online degree completion than an in-person degree?

No.  Classes taken online are completed over the same 16-week semester that our on-campus students complete their classes. 

  1. What is the usual cost for each class?

Tuition rates are the same for our online and in-person classes.  See our Tuition and Financial Aid page for the most recent tuition rate.

  1. Can Biola University’s online programs work for someone that is relatively new to the education field, or someone who is looking to switch career paths?

Yes.  While the majority of our students have some experience in education, we usually have 20-25 students each year who are new to the field and join our educational programs.

  1. If I want to teach out of California, what path is recommended?

For students interested in teaching outside of California, our online programs will not include classes toward certification in their own states.  These students are encouraged to contact the Department of Education for certification in that state. 

All students interested in earning their Preliminary Single or Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing can only earn these credentials in person on our La Mirada campus, but may complete their Clear Credential or the Special Education Credential online within California. 

While California’s teacher credentials have reciprocity with most states in the Union, there might be one or two additional requirements in some states.  For example, in California, an elementary teacher candidate is required to take a class in California History.  If the candidate chooses to teach outside of California, there may be additional coursework required that is pertinent to their new setting. 

  1. What rules of etiquette are expected as an online student?

Professionalism and courtesy are a requirement for any class.  Part of the richness of Biola University is having the opportunity of meeting and engaging with persons who come from diverse traditions and cultures other than your own.  As the body of Christ, we are called to treat each other with love and respect and must express our opinions in ways that respect and honor fellow classmates. 

  1. How does the success rate for those who complete your online program differ from that of students taking in person classes?

Academic rigor in both class formats is similar.  Our students who have taken online or in-person classes have done equally well with respect to their employment opportunities and acceptance in and graduation from doctoral programs.  Transcripts for in person and online classes from Biola University are identical.

  1. How do online students have the opportunity to engage with others in their class or field of study for community, prayer, and encouragement? 

While this varies some from class to class, most professors ask students to use Canvas’ introduction page where they can post information about themselves. Discussion often includes questions that encourage biblical integration, where students share what they believe the Bible says about the ideas being discussed.  Students often share something about their personal lives.  Professors often provide a forum for students to share prayer requests or to discuss things outside of class.

  1. How could online students explore networking opportunities and connections outside of their home study environment for the possibility of job and ministry leads?

As part of Biola University, the School of Education relies upon our Career Services’ BiolaLINK job placement search engine to connect both those wanting to hire Biola students and those Biola students wanting to be hired. In our classes, we encourage participation in professional organizations—local, regional and national—to prepare students to become lifelong learners.

  1. Are online classroom studies thoroughly integrated with biblical teachings from Scripture like Biola's on-campus classes?

While classes vary some in their integration levels and strategies, all are committed to present truth from a biblical perspective and will align with the School of Education’s mission.

  1. Some of the online classes I am interested in taking have a fieldwork component.  How will I complete this fieldwork as an online student?

If a class requires fieldwork, all students--whether online or on campus, in state or out of state--must complete the same number of fieldwork hours to meet this class requirement. Fieldwork completed outside of California cannot be applied toward a California credential or permit.  Students will need to contact our Fieldwork Coordinator by the second week of the course to arrange the required fieldwork by completing the Online Fieldwork Placement Site Request Forms.

  1. What kind of workload should I expect in an online course?  What is expected of me as a student? 

You will be expected to interact with and contribute to the class just as much as if you were in our in-person classes.  Generally, a 3-unit class requires about 6 hours of work per week. 

  1. I still have more questions—how can I get them answered? 

You can contact us by phone at 562.903.4843, or email us today (we may even add your question to this list!).

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000