Distance Learning

Taking classes with Valencia Online

Valencia provides students the opportunity to take college-credit courses through several modes of instructional delivery including: online, mixed-mode and face-to-face. Online and mixed-mode courses are equivalent to on-campus sections of the same course in terms of objectives, competencies, content, credit and transferability.

Students participating in course work through Valencia Online may use all on-campus services as well as the Web-based services through the Valencia Web site and Atlas, including the LifeMap Tools for career and education planning. Through Atlas, Valencia provides each enrolled student with an official e-mail account, which should be checked every day. For more information, visit atlas.valenciacollege.edu.

Students enrolled in online courses should carefully read instructions from faculty and in course syllabi for additional instructions on communicating throughout the course. Students enrolled in online courses will have a separate class e-mail in Canvas, the college learning management system. This email should be checked frequently to stay on top of course communications and assignments.

Online and mixed-mode courses may be delivered in a primarily text-based environment; therefore, reading and writing skills are critical to adequate course participation. Additionally, research has shown that students who are highly self-directed and manage their time well are more likely to succeed using these delivery methods. Online courses can be time intensive. It is recommended that students carefully evaluate their readiness and abilities in these areas before selecting distance learning courses. Resources to assist students in determining readiness for online courses may be found at in the Canvas 101 course available in the Courses tab in Atlas.

Due to state and federal regulations, Valencia requires all students registered in an online course to provide an active and valid mailing address in the State of Florida. If you do not have an active and valid physical mailing address in Florida (not a post office box), you will be dropped from the online course in which you are enrolled. You do not need to be a Florida resident for tuition purposes to register for online courses, but the active mailing address in your Valencia student record must be in the State of Florida.

Instructional Delivery Modes

Valencia is a leader in the use of distance learning in instruction. Students should be advised that any course may require use of a computer, computer labs, email, the World Wide Web, or other digital resources and support software, and these requirements are not necessarily in the course schedule.

Below are the principal delivery modes of alternative learning courses at Valencia and their respective class schedule descriptions.

Principal instructional delivery modes at Valencia

Type of Course Description
Face-to-Face* A course with face-to-face instruction which may be enhanced with technology.
Mixed-Mode** A course that blends the delivery of instruction between online and face-to-face (some hours are spent in the classroom with the rest being completed online). A minimum of 30% of the instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology where the student and instructor are separated by time, space, or both.
Online** All class meetings and coursework occur online using the college-approved course management system.

Technology Requirements

Valencia uses Canvas as our learning management systems (LMS).  Students are responsible for providing their own hardware, software, and Internet service providers or for accessing the Internet using technology available in any Valencia open computer lab. Technology requirements and browser requirements can be found at https://valenciacollege.edu/faculty/canvas-resources/student-faqs.php

The Atlas and Online Help Desks will provide assistance over the phone or via live chat to troubleshoot technical problems. You can reach the Atlas Help Desk at 407-299-5444 between 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Friday (9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Friday during the summer). You can reach the Online Help Desk at 407-299-5600 24 hours a day 7 days a week.


Valencia strives to provide online courses that are fully accessible for all students, regardless of disability.  Instructional designers work with faculty to employ principles of Universal Design for Learning across all instructional delivery modes. These principles are achieved through a developed flexible learning environment which accommodates the continuum of learner differences rather than creating a separate category of learners.

Resources for Online Courses


Valencia will provide students access to textbook information in accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Textbooks for courses may be purchased from a Valencia bookstore on the campus from which the course is offered. Information about online bookstore services can be found at valenciacollege.edu/bookstore or by calling 407-299-5000, x1471.

Library Services and Learning Support

The Valencia College Library provides a variety of learning-centered resources, services, and facilities to support a diverse community; to encourage academic achievement, student success, and lifelong learning; and to enhance teaching excellence. Campus librarians work with faculty who are teaching online courses to ensure appropriate resources and services are available to distance learners. Valencia also provides access to Smarthinking online tutoring, free of charge. Smarthinking is accessible in the Courses tab of Atlas and offers support in a variety of subjects including: math, writing, science, business, computers and technology, nursing and allied health, study skills, and job search preparation. Students can connect on demand with an expert tutor for a drop-in session 24 hours a day, schedule an appointment in advance, submit writing for detailed review, or ask a question offline. Smarthinking is a great option for students who take classes solely online and rarely visit a campus, or for times when campus centers are at capacity or closed due to business hours.

The following outlines a few of the services available to alternative delivery students. A complete list of Library Services can be found at https://valenciacollege.edu/students/library/.

  • Remotely accessible Web-based resources for student research including articles, eBooks and streaming video
  • Research guides and tutorials specific to Valencia collections
  • Reference instruction via email and chat
  • Librarian selected websites that support the college curriculum

Student Services

Student Affairs offers a wide range of services for online students. Applications for Admission must be submitted online. Bachelor's degree students who have not previously completed a Valencia New Student Orientation must complete the online Bachelor Degree Orientation prior to registering for classes.

Financial aid processes can be completed online. Financial aid processes that can be completed online include FAFSA completion; accepting, declining or modifying financial aid awards; verification worksheets; and tracking satisfaction of financial aid requirements. If a student is selected for verification, the student’s and parent’s taxes can be provided electronically.

Once students have registered for classes, they can pay for their classes online in Atlas using a credit card or ACH transfer (electronic check).

Through the My LifeMap tab in Atlas, students can access career development services and inventories; educational planning assistance including term-by-term course planning for degree completion; job prospect information including salary and company information; financial planning assistance; and an online portfolio to showcase their work to professors and employers.

Students can access Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, and an Academic Advisor via Atlas email. If you are in an A.S., certificate or bachelor's program, you should contact your Career Program Advisor directly. Students in an A.A. program can contact an advisor by e-mailing advising@valenciacollege.edu through your Atlas e-mail account. Confidential information about the student’s record can be researched and discussed via Atlas email within FERPA regulations because of the secure Atlas sign in. Via Atlas email, the student can ask questions about the full range of student services including admissions, financial aid, registration, course selection and graduation.

Many college clubs and organizations offer group home pages, services and information via Atlas groups.

Test Proctoring

Students registered for online courses may be required to take proctored exams. For students living in the Valencia College service area, these exams may be administered by the professor on campus and/or made available at Valencia testing centers. Faculty should make exams available in any campus testing center if requested by students. In the event that a student lives outside the Valencia service area, the student may choose to test at an alternative testing location. It is the student’s responsibility to locate a testing facility at a nearby college or university.

The student is also responsible for paying the proctoring institution any testing proctoring fees including costs for returning completed exams to the professor. The student must make testing arrangements early in the term or by the date determined by the professor.