Associate Degree Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions around associate degree programs offered by TEL partners. Have a question that isn’t answered here? Send us a note through our contact form.

Associate Degree Programs

What is the recommended sequence guide and do I have to follow it?

The sequence guide is the recommended schedule to make sure students fulfill all the credit requirements within the selected timeframe. Students can move faster or slower depending on their needs, and, in some cases, select different courses that still meet the credit requirements of the program. Whether a student follows the sequence guide or not, the student is in charge of managing their own progress. If you have questions about the course sequence, please reach out to us at

Are there additional costs for materials or fees?

The courses in these associate degree programs are all-inclusive. All materials, including texts, videos, and exams, are included in the price of the course, as well as technology and instruction. There may be a small charge by the institution for requesting your transcript when you complete your degree program.

How many courses can I take at one time?

Students can register for and enroll in as many courses as they feel they will be successful in at one time. Students are welcome to enroll in one course, complete it, and enroll in the next course on their schedule. Or they can enroll in a full semester’s worth of courses at the same time. We recommend that students don’t have more than five courses going at one time.

What are the term lengths?

The curriculum is self-paced. Students have up to a calendar year from the time of purchase to complete it. Students will be in charge of managing their own progress.

Is there a drop window for courses in the associate degree pathway?

Students have 30 days from the purchase date to drop the course. After 30 days, the grade the student earns will be reported to the school for their transcript.

Can credit I earned before enrolling in this program count toward the associate degree?

If you earned the college credit from a TEL course-on-demand from the same institutional partner you’re seeking an associate degree from, that credit can be counted toward your associate degree progress. Contact for more information.

If you earned the college credit from a TEL course-on-demand from a different institutional partner than the one you want to enroll in for an associate degree, contact us at to discuss your options.

If you earned the college credit from outside TEL’s partner programs, York will accept up to 6 credit hours to be transferred into the associate degree. You will need to provide your transcript with those credit hours when you confirm your associate degree completion with the institution.

Are these associate degree programs eligible for financial aid?

No, these programs are not eligible for federal or private financial aid programs. TEL’s partners have worked to make these programs affordable for all students even without access to additional aid.

How old do students need to be to start the associate degree program?

Students must be at least 13 years old to enroll in a TEL course. To enroll in an associate degree program, students need to have completed freshman and sophomore-level English and Math courses, including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, in order to be successful in the courses required in the associate degree programs.

The Course Curriculum

How much work is required for courses in the associate degree program?

Each program course includes 135-160 contact hours. The bulk of that will be reading the material, watching the instructional videos, and taking the Check Your Knowledge Participation Quizzes. Expect to spend at least 20 hours on the larger mastery assignments and the remainder studying for and taking your midterm and final exams. You have a full calendar year from registration to complete the course.

What is included in the program courses?

Each program course includes all learning materials, such as the readings and videos, as well as instruction, and course technology. Students also receive access to the mastery assignments and proctored exams. Students will receive guidance and support from the course instructor, student coaches, and from TEL’s in-platform general and technical assistance.

How do I access the course material in my degree program?

We send a welcome email to the student email address provided at registration. This email will have a link to access the course curriculum. Save the email and bookmark the URL for easy access. If you don’t receive this email as expected, check your spam folder.

What is the orientation course material?

Every student who enrolls in a degree program course will also be enrolled in our orientation course material. This short curriculum walks students through the platform so they understand where to find the information they need to be successful in their coursework. The orientation material is not required and you will not be graded on it, but we highly recommend you complete it so you understand how to navigate the platform.

Platform & Support

How do I view my grade?

You can check your grades at any point during your coursework. To check your grades, view a course and click the “Course Grades” button on the left-hand side of the window. Your gradebook has a Grades Summary section, sections for each assessment type, and rows for each individual assessment. The Grade Summary section will display your progress, what percentage of your grade each section represents, as well as your current and final grades.

How does instruction work in the courses?

Instruction in the courses is provided by college-level instructors who are experienced in teaching online courses. These instructors are required to have a Master’s Degree in the subject area or a Master’s Degree in a related field plus 18 credit graduate hours in the subject area. Many of our instructors also teach at other institutions.

Instructors will moderate discussion boards and hold weekly office hours to help students with content-related questions. Instructors also create notification emails to help students stay on track and are available to meet with students as needed via video conferencing.

In addition, students receive instructional support from student coaches and have access to an on-demand support team that can answer questions about technical and general issues related to a course.

Finally, it’s important to note that the online courses for each program are created using backward design principles, focusing on student outcomes and building the appropriate content around those outcomes. This means that the courses themselves are designed to provide guidance and build learning momentum for students as they work through their materials. You can learn more about our course design process on the Course Design page.

Who are the student coaches?

The student coaches are current upper-level university students or recent college graduates who help support students through the TEL platform. They understand the challenges of college and of online courses and are available to help with 1:1 sessions as well as facilitating study groups. Your student coach will periodically send resources as well as check in on your progress.

How does proctoring work and how do I start the proctoring process?

The midterm and final examinations are conducted online and are live-proctored by MonitorEDU. To access the link to start your proctoring, you will need to follow the setup instructions provided within the module or lesson. Once you have been set up for proctoring, return to your course, open your exam from within the exam lesson, and enter the password given to you by your proctor.

You will also need to have a government-issued PhotoID and you are allowed to have one 3×5 index card, handwritten on both sides.

Also please keep in mind that there is no specific time or date that the exams need to be taken on. You do not have to schedule ahead of time or make any appointments for it. The exams can be taken through the proctoring at any time, day or night.

If you do not want to be recorded and/or on-camera during the exam, you will be unable to be proctored through MonitorEDU. You cannot receive credit for this course (not just the assignment – the course!) if you do not take your exams proctored.

What are the technical requirements to access and use the TEL curriculum?

This course content is delivered fully online and you will be required to have access to a computer, laptop, or web-capable mobile device – along with consistent access to the internet – to access course material and complete assignments.

Review the information relevant to your operating system to ensure your device meets the minimum requirements necessary to complete the course content for credit:



  • Intel Core 2 Duo (or AMD 64×2 Dual-Core) processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • 1024×768 resolution monitor
  • Soundcard with microphone and speakers
  • Built-in or external webcam
  • Broadband internet connection with speeds of  at least 2 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. Hot spots are not recommended. Test internet speed at:
  • Browser with pop-up blocker disabled


  • Windows 7 or above



  • Intel Core 2 Duo (or AMD 64×2 Dual-Core) processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • 1024×768 resolution monitor
  • Soundcard with microphone and speakers
  • Built-in or external webcam
  • Broadband internet connection with speeds of  at least 2 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. Hot spots are not recommended. Test internet speed at:
  • Browser with pop-up blocker disabled


  • Mac OS 10.6 “Snow Leopard” or above

Tablet or Smartphone

NOTICE:  Though you can view and interact with all of the available course content on a tablet or smartphone, you MUST USE A DESKTOP OR LAPTOP computer to complete the proctored midterm and final examinations.


  • 2 GHz processor or faster
  • 1 GB RAM or greater
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • Microphone and speakers
  • Wireless internet connection