If you have thought about returning to learning, you may be wondering if part-time education is a good fit for you. Here are eight common questions we get about Part-Time Studies at Fanshawe College and the answers to help you determine if you’re ready to take the next step.
Part-Time Learning - Frequently Asked Questions:
What does it mean to study part-time?
Part-time learning means studying with a smaller course load per college term, typically one to three courses per semester. If you have a busy lifestyle but still want to work toward academic goals, studying part-time is an excellent way to achieve them.
What is the time commitment for part-time students? How many hours per week should I dedicate to my studies?
The time commitment for part-time learning truly depends on the type of studies you partake in. For a single continuing education and part-time post-secondary course in a typical 15-week college semester, the average time you can expect to dedicate to your studies is three to six hours per week on average which includes instruction (course content, readings, videos, etc.) and the time to complete assignments. For microcredentials, the average time it takes to complete is 10 to 12 hours total over a typical period of four weeks; however, this widely varies depending on the specific skills training being covered.
How much does it cost to study part-time?
The cost is dependent on the type of part-time course or credential you’re looking to complete. The costs typically reflect the number of hours that make up the course, which is why it can be different across the board and from institution to institution. Here’s a breakdown of tuition* based on Part-Time Studies at Fanshawe College:
- Microcredentials - average cost is approximately $140 each
- Continuing education courses - average cost is approximately $300 each
- Part-time post-secondary courses - average cost is approximately $300 each
* Costs are based on Fanshawe College tuition only and don’t include materials or textbooks that may be required and have additional fees. Be sure to look for specific fees for the microcredential or course you’re interested in taking on the website.
Did you know? You can get financial aid as a part-time student! Be sure to check with the post-secondary institution you’re researching specific bursary and scholarship opportunities to help you pay for your part-time studies.
At Fanshawe College, we have a number of opportunities you can find on our Student Awards website.
Do I have to apply to study part-time?
How you sign up for part-time learning depends on the type of course or credential you wish to pursue:
- Microcredentials - open admission, no admission requirements and no application needed. Some might specify that it’s good to have some pre-existing knowledge in the topic area, but it’s not a mandatory requirement in order to take them.
- Continuing education - in most cases, open admission, no admission requirements and no application needed. Some individual courses may have prerequisite courses in order to be successful, so be sure to make note of that when selecting courses. At Fanshawe College, we do encourage you to declare your program upon registering for your first course in a continuing education program.
- Part-time post-secondary - Because these courses go toward an Ontario College credential, like a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma, degree or graduate certificate, you will have to apply through OCAS and meet the specified requirements of the program in order to be admitted.
What if my schedule doesn’t allow me to take courses in a certain semester? Do I have to start over?
Not at all! The flexibility and freedom to choose your own learning path are one of the many benefits of pursuing your education on a part-time basis. If you are going through a busy time, there is no obligation to take your course – take a break for a semester or take just one course. You decide when to take courses and when you don’t. You have a seven-year period of time to complete any college credential from the time that you start it.
How long will it take me to earn a credential part-time?
The time it will take you to complete a credential on a part-time basis depends on how many courses you choose to take in a given college semester, whether or not you choose to take certain semesters off each year (eg. summer), and the type of credential that you plan to work toward. With these factors in mind, here is the average length to complete part-time depending on credential type:
- Ontario College Diploma - four years, taking two courses per college semester and studying the whole year (fall, winter and summer)
- Ontario College Graduate Certificate - two years, taking three courses per college semester and studying the whole year (fall, winter and summer)
- Continuing Education Certificate - two years, taking two courses per college semester and studying the whole year (fall, winter and summer)
- Continuing Education Declaration of Academic Achievement - two semesters, taking two courses per college semester.
- Microcredential Series - one or two college semesters, taking three to four microcredential badges per college semester.
Is class or instruction time scheduled? Or, do I decide when I complete the learning requirements of a part-time course or microcredential?
If you are registered in a fully online course or microcredential, they are delivered in an asynchronous or unscheduled format. This means you decide how you allocate your weekly course time allotment to work with your own schedule. It is important that you’re active in the course each and every week.
For blended courses and microcredentials, this means that it is delivered both online and in-class. In this case, the online portion will be asynchronous/unscheduled, but the in-class face-to-face part will be scheduled, typically in the evenings.
If you’ve opted to take an in-class course or microcredentials, the full course will be scheduled and you would be expected to attend to complete the learning requirements.
How can I get more information?
College and university websites are your best resource for more information pertaining to part-time studies. At Fanshawe College, you can check out part-time learning options on our Part-Time Studies page. If you want to talk to someone at Fanshawe about Part-Time Studies, please connect with us!