Frequently Asked Questions about Early Start Institute

How long is each course?

Ten weeks. Participants will complete one lesson every two weeks over the course of the 10-week period.

How often are courses offered?

Each course is offered three times per year. There are three sessions throughout the year (Fall, Winter, Spring) that feature eight different courses. For important dates, please see the calendar.

How much time will each participant need to commit to participation?

Approximately one hour per week (two hours per lesson). This is an estimate and, of course, each individual’s experience will be unique. Participants may access lesson activities at their convenience.

What is a lesson like?

Each lesson consists of narrated and captioned presentations, assignments, and a discussion forum. Participants are required to complete one self-graded assignment within the course environment and another written assignment that is reviewed by course facilitators. Two posts are also required to the discussion forum for each lesson: one original post and one response to another participant or facilitator.

What if I miss a lesson or a deadline?

Lessons are available for two weeks at a time. Deadline reminders for assignments, quizzes, and discussion forums are sent frequently by facilitators. No deadline extensions are provided as the timeframe for completion of required components is generous. If a lesson, assignment, quiz deadline, or discussion forum is missed, you may continue with the course, but you will not receive a certificate of completion. You may save your course responses in a Word document and re-enroll for the same course during a later session.

How do I drop a course?

Simply complete a Help Ticket and inform course management that you would like to drop the course.

Is there a test?

There are Pre-and Post-Course Quizzes. The quizzes are intended to provide information about the effectiveness of content delivery—not individual participant performance. Participants must complete the quizzes to have completed the course and to receive a certificate of completion.

What equipment is needed to participate?

Individuals need a computer with an Internet connection.

What software is needed to participate?

No specific software is needed as most content plays within the learning management system. Some agency computers or Internet networks may require agency technology support to adjust security protocols for access.

How much does participation cost?

There is no cost to California residents to register or participate in Early Start Online courses. California residents are given priority for registration.

Are continuing education units available?

Yes. Please see the Continuing Education Units page under the heading Early Start Institute for more information.

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