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Distance Education

Students Resources

What should I know about Distance Education courses at College of San Mateo

San Mateo Community College District is committed to providing students and the community access to transfer education and workforce training through career-technical programs. College of San Mateo provides such access through our Distance Education program. Through Distance Education courses all students will have access to earning associate degrees, credit for courses that satisfy transfer course requirements, and career-technical education. These courses are designed to give students greater freedom of scheduling, but they can require more self-discipline and require as much time and effort as on-campus classes. How well Distance Education (DE) courses fit into your educational goals depends on many factors.

For new or first-time DE students, please keep in mind the following:
  • Online courses are recommended for students who can work well independently and have solid study skills and self-discipline
  • Online courses do parallel courses taught in the classroom and are transferable to most four-year colleges and universities
  • Students enrolled in online courses have the same status as students enrolled in on-campus courses
  • Online courses require as much time and effort as on-campus classes; however, students have the ability to work according to their own schedule and are not required to come to campus as frequently

What should I know about being an online student?

Before enrolling in Distance Education courses, we invite you to take our online workshop, SMCCCD Quest for Success for Prospective Online Learner, to see if online or hybrid courses will meet your needs. In particular, we recommend taking the SmarterMeasure readiness for online learning assessment located in Module 1 of the online workshop. It will provide you with valuable insights about obstacles you may need to overcome to succeed in an online course. 

In addition, please visit the Succeeding as a Distance Education Student page to learn more about the requirements needed to be a successful online student.

Enrolling in Distance Education Courses

If your educational goal is any of the following, you must follow all steps listed in Steps to Successful Enrollment.
  • Obtain an associate degree or certificate
  • Transfer to a four-year institution
  • Improve basic skills in English, reading or math
  • Plan to apply for financial aid
  • Are undecided about your goal
If your educational goal is any of the following, you must follow steps 1, 4 and 5 in Steps to Successful Enrollment.
  • Upgrade job skills
  • Maintain a certificate or license
  • Career-technical education
  • Participate in High School Concurrent Enrollment Program
  • Are primarily a student at another college or university and taking courses at College of San Mateo to meet the requirements of your institution
Once you have decided that Distance Education courses are a good fit for your learning skills and goals, please visit How to Enroll and follow the Steps to Successful Enrollment.


Below is a list of available resources for students interested in or currently enrolled in Distance Education courses.

Online Resources

Canvas Resources


Online Learning Resources

Student Support Services and Special Programs 

Technical Support