Distance Education

Online courses provide excellent opportunities for students to pursue their educational goals with time and place flexibility. These courses are offered over the Internet and should not require on-campus attendance. Online courses comprise equivalent content and satisfy the same academic requirements as their on-campus counterparts.

Online Student Success

Online courses are rigorous and require a clear commitment. You will need to be motivated, well-organized, and on-task to succeed in this mode of learning.

Check the online course descriptions on the Distance Education website for information about making initial contact with the instructor. We strongly encourage you to take the Distance Education Orientation to determine whether you are ready to take an online course and to help you prepare for distance learning. 

On-Campus Attendance

Although fully online courses do not require specific time-and-place commitments, some partially-online (hybrid) courses require varying levels of on-campus attendance, as determined by the instructor:

  • Fully online courses require no on-campus meetings or exams but may require students to take proctored exams. These can be accomplished via online proctoring or approved in-person arrangements with the instructor.
  • Partially online courses may require attendance at SBCC campus for orientations and exams, or have regular meeting times.

Check the online course descriptions  for information on each section’s attendance requirements.

Fully Online Programs

The following programs have been approved to be taught fully online. Please check the Schedule of Classes to confirm course availability and contact the Department Chair for confirmation.

  • Anthropology (AA)
  • Administration of Justice for Transfer (AS-T)
  • Administration of Justice: Legal Studies Emphasis (AS, C)
  • Applied Photography (AA, C)
  • Cancer Information Management (AS, C)
  • Communication: Communication Science Emphasis (AA)
  • Computer Information Systems (AS)
  • Computer Information Systems: Emphasis in System Administration (AS)
  • Film and Media Studies (AA)
  • Graphic Design and Photography: Graphic Design Concentration (AA)
  • Global Studies (AA)
  • Health Information Technology (AS)
  • International Business (AA, C)
  • Introduction to Graphic Design (C)
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Art and Humanities Emphasis (AA)
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Science and Math Emphasis (AA)
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Social and Behavioral Science Emphasis (AA)
  • Marketing (AA, C)
  • Medical Coding Specialist (C)
  • Natural History (AA)
  • Political Science for Transfer (AA-T)
  • Spanish for Transfer (AA-T)

Technical Requirements

In order to log on to course websites, all students taking online courses must have access to a computer/mobile device with an Internet connection and a recommended Web browser. Information on specific requirements is located on the Distance Education website. Note: that Modern Languages courses may require that a student use a computer/mobile device with sound capabilities. We strongly encourage you to take the assessment to determine whether you are ready to take an online course.

Support for Classes

While taking online classes, students will be able to seek support from several sources. Technical assistance is available through Student Technical Support at (805) 897-3549 or online@sbcc.edu and by filling out the Tech Support Form. Accessibility assistance for disabled students is available through Disability Services and Programs for Students (DSPS). Find additional student services embedded in Canvas, the college’s authorized learning management systems.

Additional Information

Visit the Distance Education website for information on the advantages of distance learning, links to the locations of each semester’s online courses, lists the fully online programs and degrees, links directly to student technical support, provides frequently asked questions (FAQ), links directly to the campus portal, details steps to enrollment, includes comprehensive information on preparation for Distance Education, details technical requirements, provides information on how to start a course, lists important dates, includes information on library services for Distance Education students, details policies and procedures, provides up-to-date information on state authorization of Distance Education and more. For support: (805) 897-3549 or online@sbcc.edu.

State Authorization of Distance Education Outside of California

If you are a Santa Barbara City College student (or prospective student) who will not reside in California while enrolled in Distance Education courses at Santa Barbara City College, be aware of the following information:

Santa Barbara City College delivers online education programs and courses throughout the United States and internationally, and its online offerings continue to expand. All programs have been approved by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Many states have prescribed an “authorization” process for out-of-state institutions delivering online programs to its state residents. States are attempting through these processes to ensure quality postsecondary education, to preserve the integrity of an academic degree and to instill greater consumer protection for their student citizens.

Authorization (sometimes referred to as “registration,” “licensure,” “approval,” etc.) indicates that certain minimum standards have been met by the institution under the laws and regulations of that state. Authorization does not constitute an endorsement of any institution, course or degree program. Credits earned at an institution do not necessarily transfer to all other institutions.

Santa Barbara City College has taken steps to protect its students and operations nationwide. The institution has been granted authorizations, exemptions and waivers from many states. In other states, Santa Barbara City College can operate without such authorization because the state’s laws do not pertain to a public institution, to an accredited institution or to the college’s activities in that state. We advise students residing in states in which Santa Barbara City College is not approved to offer distance education not to enroll in Distance Education classes at Santa Barbara City College. See the Distance Education website for a complete list of states in which Santa Barbara City College is approved to offer Distance Education.

Complaints about a Santa Barbara City College Online Course?

If you are a student who wishes to complain about a Santa Barbara City College course delivered via Distance Education, consider contacting your instructor. If you are unable to resolve your complaint through the instructor, contact the department chair. If you are unable to resolve your complaint through the department chair, contact Kenley Neufeld, the Dean for Distance Education at neufeld@sbcc.edu. If you are unable to resolve your complaint through the dean, contact the Executive Vice President of Educational Programs.

If you are unable to resolve your complaint at any of these levels, consider contacting:

Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges/Western Association of Schools and Colleges
10 Commercial Boulevard
Suite 204
Novato, CA 94949
(415) 506-0234