Student Frequently Asked Questions
Technical Specifications, Requirements, and Questions:
Are there computers on campus that I can use?
Computers with internet access are available to students in the
Academic Computing Center (Cesar Chavez Building room A-106), and at the
Neally Library (Building L, room 103).
Is there a wireless network at Santa Ana College?
There is a free wireless network available to students at Santa Ana College. From the available wirelessnetworks, select SAC-Student and follow the prompts. Use your Web Advisor User ID and password to log into the wireless network.
My computer froze in the middle of a test, how do I get back in?
If your instructor allows multiple attempts on the test, then you should be able to go back to the content area that the test was in and re-launch it. If the instructor only allows one attempt, you will be locked out of the test and should
contact your instructor immediately. Be sure to let your instructor know exactly what happened, and any error messages you received. It is at the instructor's discretion if they choose to open the test for you again. To help reduce the possibility of your computer freezing during a test, follow the following suggestions:
- Reboot your computer prior to starting a test (turn the computer off, leave it off for a minute, then turn it back on).
- Use a Canvas support browser such as Firefox (preferred) or Chrome.
- Ensure that pop-ups, cookies, Java and Flash are all enabled.
- Do not use a wireless connection, use a computer that is physically connected to a reliable network.
- Do not use a tablet or mobile device, as some features may not work. Use a desktop or laptop computer.
- Do not have any other programs open on the computer as they can interfere with the test and cause the browser to close unexpectedly.;
- Do not leave the test page once the test has been started, you will not be able to access it again.
- Complete the exam once you have opened it.
- Do not close the browser window during the assessment as you will not be able to access it again.
- Be aware of time constraints. The instructor can set a time limit and the test must be completed before time expires.; If a time limit was set, there will be a timer on the test page that will let you know how much time you have left.
- Remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page, and to click the "Submit" button once you have completed the test. This will ensure that the exam is submitted to the instructor.
Student Discounts on Software:
Where can I get Microsoft Office at a student discounted rate?
As a California Community College, Santa Ana College can offer you access as a registered student to a discounted student version of Microsoft Office. You must verify enrollment at
. Current SAC students also have access to Microsoft Office 365 with their SAC student Email accounts. Office 365 also has an option to download a student version of Microsoft Office products.
are available on the
Admissions & Records
home page or by clicking this link:
. SAC student Email addresses are formatted as the WebAdvisorID@student.sac.edu (e.g.
General Distance Education and Online Learning:
What is Distance Education?
The Distance Education program offers fully accredited college courses online, allowing a convenient and flexible way to take classes. The courses are taught by Santa Ana College Faculty. Many of these courses fulfill general education, elective, and major requirements; and can be transferred to a four-year institution. The
Online Degree Pathway program allows students to earn a degree entirely online. See the Sana Ana College Catalog for more information.
Are there any disadvantages to Distance Education courses?
The disadvantages of distance or online learning are that it requires more self-discipline, good time-management skills, a good understanding of your personal learning style, and the commitment of the student to their education. Distance learning is very student oriented, where the students takes the primary responsibility for their own learning.
Can I earn a degree entirely online?
Yes! Santa Ana College offers the
Online Degree Pathway program. The
Pathway program allows students to earn an
AS-T in Business Administration,
Major Prep for Transfer, or
AA in Liberal Arts entirely online. These are accelerated programs so students can finish in two years. More information on how to get started and on the program is available on the
Online Degree Pathway website at
What are some characteristics of a successful online learner?
Students who are successful online learners tend to:
- Begin course activities on the first day of classes or earlier if the course is available
- Work ahead of the course schedule
- Set aside a specific time and place on a routine basis for study and coursework
- Contacts the instructor immediately with any questions regarding the course or course material
- Participates in class discussions
- Goal oriented
- Comfortable navigating on the Internet using a browser such as Firefox
- Familiar with word process
- Have basic computer skills
How are online courses delivered?
At Santa Ana College, Canvas is the learning management system. Course materials, assignments, interactive discussions, grades, and even tests may be posted on the Canvas course site. Canvas can be access from the
Santa Ana College website (www.sac.edu), or directly by typing
https://rsccd.instructure.com/ in the address bar of the browser.
Are there any required on-campus meetings?
Some online courses require a face-to-face orientation and/or require on-campus proctored exams. Hybrid courses have some instructional meetings on campus. Dates are posted under the course information on
Web Advisorhttps://www.sac.edu/WebAdvisor and are viewable at the time of registration.
Are Distance Education (online and hybrid) courses semester based? When do they start/end?
Distance Education courses follow the same Academic Calendar as on-campus classes. Most courses are full-semester -16 weeks, or accelerated - 8 weeks. However, some courses follow their department's course schedule and/or needs of a shorter course schedule. The start and end dates of a course are posted under the course information on
Web Advisor (https://www.sac.edu/WebAdvisor) and are viewable at the time of registration.
If I complete a degree with online classes, am I able to transfer?
Online and hybrid courses are the same as a traditional or face-to-face class with the same breadth, depth, and rigor of learning. Contact the
Transfer Center with any transfer questions by phone at (714) 564-6165 or by Email at
What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?
Open Educational Resources, or OER, are educational materials (e.g. textbooks, tests, assignments, videos, audio, pictures, syllabus, lecture notes, Power Points, projects, etc.) that have an open license. This means that anyone can use and/or adapt the materials for no cost. What does this mean for students? Low or no cost textbooks that are available in the class from the first day. More information about OER can be found on the
SAC OER for Students website.
Can I earn a degree by taking courses that use only Open Educational Resources (OER) at Santa Ana College?
Santa Ana College is in the process of creating two degree pathways utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) materials as part of the
Achieving the Dream's Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree initiative. More information about SAC's OER degrees can be found on the
SAC OER for Students website.
I am an out of state student (not a California resident), can I take an online course at Santa Ana College?
This will depend on your state of residence. Please contact the
Distance Education office at
DestEd@sac.edu prior to enrollment.
About Your Online Classroom:
How can I find out about specific course requirements and book?
Course requirements and textbook information are listed on
Web Advisor. Simply find your course in
Web Advisor, then click on the course title. This will access the course information page that will include the course description, details, and a link for textbook information.
Where can i get my book(s)?
All required textbooks and most other course materials or necessities can be purchased through the Santa Ana College
Who is my instructor, and how can I contact him/her?
Your instructor is a Santa Ana College faculty member. Instructor information, including Email address, is listed on
Web Advisor. In
Web Advisor, locate your course and click the class title access the information page. The instructor's name and Email address will be listed on the course information page. The instructor may be able to answer questions for you prior to the start of the class. Once the class has started, check the course syllabus for the instructor's preferred method of communication. You can also contact the instructor directly through the Canvas course.
How is attendance and participation conducted in an online or hybrid course?
Online course attendance is explicitly stated in the instructor's course syllabus. Most courses require students to complete certain activities within a specific period of time (e.g. complete an online quiz, send an Email, post to a discussion board, submit an assignment, etc.). Participation is ongoing throughout the duration of the class and is expected on a regular basis as defined by the instructor. The course schedule is usually included in the class syllabus.
The Santa Ana College Add/Drop Policy States:
It is the student's responsibility to withdraw officially from a course. A student may be dropped for excessive absences when the total hours of absences exceed 10% of the total scheduled hours of the class. Under extenuating circumstances, a student may be reinstated by the instructor. Students may also be dropped for non-payment according to college policy. For a complete listing of the Add/Drop policy and frequently asked questions, see the
Admissions & Records website (http://www.sac.edu/StudentServices/AdmissionsRecords/Pages/Non-payment-Drop.aspx)
What is the process for using a DLA (Directed Learning Activity) that was assigned by my instructor?
Your instructor assigns a Directed Learning Activity (DLA) in your course, it will need to be completed with the Santa Ana College
Learning Center. To complete a DLA:
Your instructor will have your DLA work kept in their file at the
How do online students receive tutoring?
Tutoring is available at the
Learning Center for the same subjects for both traditional classroom, and online or hybrid courses. Tutoring is free to all students. Tutoring is available at the
Learning Center for the following subjects on a "drop-in" basis (no appointment needed): All Communication Studies courses, all Foreign Languages courses, all English, Reading and EMLS courses, and writing for any topic / class.
Tutoring is available at the Learning Center for the following subjects by appointment:
Human Development 107, 205, 220; Math (all except 219);
Physics 109, 117, 210, 211, 217, 227, 237, 279, 289;
Engineering 235, 250;
Physical Science 117;
Political Science 100;
Biology 109, 139, 149, 217, 229, 239, 249; and
Medical Assisting 051A, 052B. Check the
Learning Center website (www.sac.edu/learningcenter) for the most up to date tutoring information.
For Online and Pathway students:
- Tutoring Requests: Call or
Email the Learning Center (LearningCenter@sac.edu) with your tutoring subject/course request. You will need to arrange for a call back tutoring time.
- Writing Tutoring: Complete the
Learning Center Conferencing Intake and Evaluation Form and save it. Send an Email to the Learning Center requesting tutoring, and attach the completed form.
- Some online courses may have NetTutor, which is a free online tutoring service. If NetTutor is available in an online course, there will be a NetTutor course menu option. NetTutor provides tutoring services 7 days/week, with many subjects available 24 hours/day. The NetTutor schedule and instructions for use will be provided in the online course on Canvas.
Is academic advisement available online from Counseling?
Students can contact an online counselor and schedule an appointment at the
Online Counseling website (https://www.sac.edu/StudentServices/Counseling/Pages/Virtual%20Counseling.aspx).
Support & Contacts
Who do I contact if I cannot see my course on Canvas?
- Verify that you are registered for the course and have paid for it on
- Prior to the First Day of Classes: Online courses are made available on the first day of class. While some instructors may provide access prior to the first day, it is at their discretion. Check Canvas on the first day of class to see if your class has been made available.
- After the First Day of Classes: Verify that you are registered for the course in
Web Advisor, and that you have not been dropped. If you are registered, contact the
Distance Education Office.
- If You Recently Added the Course: If you recently registered or added the course on Web Advisor,
it may take up to 6 hours after the registration was finalized for the course to appear on Canvas. If it has been more than 8 hours since the registration was completely processed, contact your instructor or the
Distance Education Office. Be sure to include your Web Advisor ID number and the section number of the course
Who do I contact if I cannot see my grades?
Click on the "My Grades" link on the course menu to view your grades. An exclamation point next to a grade indicates that the instructor has not yet graded the assignment, test, or discussion board. If no grades are displaying, check the course announcements and course discussion board (if being used) to see if there are any posts regarding grades. If there is nothing posted, contact the instructor.
Who do I contact if I cannot access my test or assignment?
Access Canvas from a desktop or laptop computer, as some features may not work correctly if accessed on a mobile device. It is best to use a hard wired (not wireless) connection. Try using a different browser. Firefox is the recommended browser. Verify that you are trying to access the document, assignment, or test within the date and time range designated by the instructor. If it is within the specified time, contact your instructor.
Who do I contact if I have been unsuccessful in contacting my instructor?
Many instructors have their availability and response times listed on their course syllabus. Remember that the instructor may not be online or available at the moment, and it may take some time for them to respond to you. It is not instantaneous. If you have not received a response from your instructor after their stated response time has elapsed, contact the course's
Division Office or the
Distance Education office. Be sure to include the section number, instructor name, your contact information, and your Web Advisor ID in all communications to the
Division Office or
What do I do if I have an unresolved dispute or issue with my instructor?
If you have an unresolved dispute with your instructor, you can contact the
Dean of the division. A complete list of the departments, divisions, and contact information for each of the Deans is available on the
Santa Ana College website, under
Who do I contact if I cannot log into Canvas?
Only enrolled students can access Canvas. To log onto Canvas use your Web Advisor User ID and password. If you are receiving an "Invalid user ID or Password" error, try to log onto
Web Advisor. If you can successfully log onto
Web Advisor, then wait 20 minutes and try to log onto Canvas again. If you try to log on three times unsuccessfully to Canvas your account will be frozen. It will automatically unfreeze after 20 minutes. If you are still unable to log onto Canvas, change your password in
Web Advisor. To do so, log on then click on the Student Menu. Under the User Account section, click the "Student Change Password" link. Follow the prompts to change your password. Once your password has been successfully changed, log onto
Web Advisor. Wait 20 minutes, then try to log onto Canvas. If you are unable to log onto
Web Advisor, use the "What is my Password?" link on the
Web Advisor home page. If you still cannot log into Canvas after trying the steps above, contact the
Distance Education office by phone at (714) 564-6725 or
DistEd@sac.edu. Be sure to have your Web Advisor User ID and Santa Ana College Student ID ready.
What do I do if I forgot my WebAdvisor ID or Password?
Web Advisor home page, click the "What is My Web Advisor Login?" or "What is my Password?" link, located towards the lower right of the page. These links will help you recover your log on information. If you cannot recover your log on information, go to
Admissions & Records for more assistance.
What is Wait List?
Once a class reaches its limit, the section becomes closed.
If the online class allows for wait-listing, add yourself to the wait
list. Although you may see a seat available, you can only add yourself
to the wait list (you are not able to wait list more than one section
Periodically, a process is run to move students from the waitlist into open seats.
When you are rolled from the wait list into an open seat, an email will
be sent to notify you of this enrollment (it is your responsibility to
make sure that your e-mail is up-to-date).
How to Add Classes on Self-Serve?
Add Authorizations are replacing the WebAdvisor Add Codes. Once a class
starts meeting, you need an Add Authorization to register for the class
section. Add Authorizations are issued by the instructor of the class
and depend on seat availability. It is no longer a code that needs to
be entered. It is a system permission that is unique to your ID and
section. All you need to do is go to your schedule in Self-Service and
register for the class.Instructions on how add classes on Self-Serve
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