Frequently Asked Questions
What are the hours of class?
Online Structured: Participants are required to log in weekly; however, there are no synchronized meeting times. Online structured courses are designed to cover at least 45 hours of content. The lessons are paced throughout an 8-week period to provide guidance through the learning process. Some courses may be offered at an accelerated pace or extend beyond 8 weeks (to accommodate holidays); however, the same course objectives and content requirements will be met.
Online Self-Paced: Participants will work at their own pace to complete self-paced courses within 12 weeks or less. Courses may be accessed as soon as log-in information and textbook (if applicable) are received. Online self-paced courses are designed to cover at least 45 hours of content.
Online Fast-Track: Hours vary by course and participants are able to work at their own pace throughout an 8-week time frame. Courses may be accessed as soon as log-in information is received.
How many credits does each course offer?
Participants completing graduate-credit courses earn 3 graduate credits from our academic partner. Credit is accepted by most school districts for step advancement and renewal of your teaching certificate, and may be applicable to advanced degree programs. TCL courses may also be taken as a noncredit option for up to 45 clock hours. Participants will receive a certificate from TCL upon course completion.*
How are online courses offered?
All online courses are delivered 100% online, offer flexibility with 24-hour access, and have a user-friendly interface. Courses feature activities such as online lectures, discussion board participation, and assignments:
Online Structured: These online courses provide a learning experience within a highly interactive environment where participants learn from the teacher, the course materials, and one another. Direct interaction with the instructor and other participants in the course is expected. Participants are required to log in weekly; however, there are no synchronized meeting times. The lessons are paced throughout an 8-week to provide guidance through the learning process. Textbooks are included when applicable. Some courses may be offered at an accelerated pace or extend beyond 8 or 12 weeks (to accommodate holidays); however, the same course objectives and content requirements will be met.
Online Self-Paced: These instructor facilitated online courses allow participants to work at their own pace throughout a 12-week time frame. Direct interaction with the instructor is expected. Participants will also benefit from access to peer collaboration and up-to-date resources and materials. Courses may be started as soon as log-in information and textbooks (if applicable) are received.
Online Fast-Track: These instructor-facilitated online courses allow participants to work at their own pace throughout an 8-week time frame. You may start your course as soon as you receive your log-in information. Fast-Track courses may only be taken as a noncredit option for professional development clock hours; hours vary by course.* Textbooks are not required.
Online courses are accessible from inside North America (including Canada and Puerto Rico) as well as established military facilities throughout the world. If you are outside of these regions, please contact customer service at 888-550-5465 prior to enrolling.
Participants should always check with their academic advisor, district and/or state for approval before enrolling to determine how graduate credits or professional development hours may be applied.
Are there additional fees?
There are no additional costs for course materials (supplemental participant manuals and textbooks). You will receive your textbooks (when required) on the first day of a site-based course; materials for online structured courses will be mailed directly to you.
Official university transcripts for courses completed for graduate credit may be requested from our academic partners for a nominal fee. We make every effort to schedule site-based courses at facilities with ample free parking, but this is not always possible. We ask that you inquire with the facility in advance about the availability of parking so that you can plan accordingly.
What if I need proof of payment for reimbursement?
TCL automatically emails out a receipt for each payment received. You can also download a copy through the Student Portal. If you need an additional receipt, you may also call TCL to request one. The Connecting Link does not receive funding from the Department of Education's student aid programs. As such we do not meet the reporting requirements to complete Form 1098-T. Our university partners are also not eligible to provide 1098-T forms for TCL courses. The Connecting Link can provide a statement of tuition paid, which participants may be able to report as an expense on their tax forms. (Please consult with your tax advisor.) TCL’s tax ID number is 47-2179446.
What if the course I signed up for is cancelled or changed?
TCL makes every effort to run all courses as scheduled. Occasionally, a course will not have sufficient enrollment to be held. Your registration counts! Please register early. If a course is cancelled, we will notify you approximately two weeks prior to the first day of class. Please note that some circumstances may prevent us from providing two weeks’ notice. Since TCL holds satellite courses, the dates, facilities, and/or instructors are subject to change. We will notify you of any such changes; however, we recommend that you also visit our website to verify the course information prior to the first day of class.
What are the TCL Guarantees?
Money Back: You may cancel your enrollment within 14 days of initial purchase and receive a full refund of tuition paid to TCL. The 14 day risk-free period is valid only when enrolling at least 30 days in advance of the course start dates of our site-based and online structured courses. (The guarantee is not applicable for any self-paced courses.)
Satisfaction Guarantee: Participants dissatisfied with their course must contact TCL to drop the course before the course concludes. No certificates of completion, grades, or transcripts will be issued for the dropped course. You may then transfer to a new course within 6 months of the original course completion date. Only one free transfer per course enrollment is allowed.
Outside of the above provisions and parameters, please review the TCL refund, transfer, and cancellation policies noted below or here: http://www.connectinglink.com/pdf/TCL_Policies.pdf
If I purchase a course, may I cancel?
Site-Based & Online Structured Course Policies
- Refund Policy: If you withdraw from a course 7 or more days before the first day of class, you will receive a refund of the amount you paid less the $100 nonrefundable deposit. If you fail to notify TCL at least 7 days prior to the start date of the course, no refund will be provided. (Please allow 3-4 weeks for your refund.)
- Transfer Policy: If you are unable to attend your course and notify TCL 7 days or more before the first day of class, you may transfer into a different site-based or online course. The new course must be held within one year of the original course start date. You will be subject to the regular price of the new course in effect at that time, and a $30 processing fee will be assessed. No additional discounts are applicable.
- Returning Materials: In some cases you may have received textbooks from TCL prior to starting your course. To remain eligible for a refund or transfer please contact TCL for a Return Materials Authorization (RMA) number and return the textbooks within 21 days of the RMA number being issued.
- Cancellation Policy: If a course is cancelled by TCL, we will notify you approximately two weeks prior to the first day of class. You may transfer to another site-based or online course at the same tuition as your original course purchase price or receive a full refund. Please note that some circumstances may prevent us from providing 2 weeks’ notice. You are not responsible to return textbooks for courses that are cancelled by TCL.
Online Fast-Track Course Policies
- Beginning Your Course: You may start your online course as soon as you receive all necessary log-in information. Once you log on to your course, you have 8 weeks to complete it.
- Refund Policy: To qualify for a refund, you must notify TCL within 48 business hours of purchasing your Fast-Track online course. You must not have accessed the course. TCL will issue a refund ofyour purchase price, less the $100 nonrefundable deposit per course.
Online Self-Paced Course Policies
- Beginning Your Course: You may start your course as soon as you receive all necessary log-in information and textbooks (when applicable). Once you log on to your course, you have 12 weeks to complete it. Initial login must take place within 60 days of course enrollment.
- Refund Policy: To qualify for a refund, participants must notify TCL within 7 days of purchasing a course and must not have accessed the course. Participants will receive a refund of tuition paid to TCL, less the $100 nonrefundable deposit per course. If they fail to notify TCL at least 7 days from the purchase date of the course, no refund will be provided. (Please allow 3-4 weeks for refunds.)
- Returning Materials: If TCL has shipped course materials to a participant, they must return the materials before a refund can be issued. Participants should contact TCL to be issued a return material authorization (RMA) number. To remain eligible for a refund, materials must be received by TCL within 21 days of the RMA number being issued.your purchase price, less the $100 nonrefundable deposit per course.
What is the TCL Guarantee?
You will be pleased with the TCL content, format, and instructor or you may enroll in another course FREE OF CHARGE.*
* Participants not pleased must contact TCL and drop the course before the course concludes. No certificates of completion, grades, or transcripts will be issued for the dropped course. You must elect to enroll in a new course within 6 months of the original course completion date. Only one free transfer per course enrollment allowed. TCL refund policies still apply. See refund policies above or contact TCL for more details.
How is my grade determined?
- Graduate-Credit Courses: All graduate-credit courses require participation in class activities, attendance, and completion of a final project that is based on the course objectives.
- Non-Credit Courses: Participants must attend all seat hours and complete all in-class work. Participants taking a course not for credit are exempt from completing a final project for site-based and online structured courses, unless otherwise noted in the syllabus. Participants will receive a certificate that reflects up to 45 clock hours for these courses.
When will I receive my grade letter and /or certificate of completion?
- Graduate-Credit Courses: TCL will notify you by email when your final grade is received from your instructor. At that time, you will be able to download your grade letter and certificate of completion from the TCL student portal. Completion of a course evaluation on the portal will be required. You may subsequently request transcripts from our academic partner.
- Non-Credit Courses: TCL will notify you by email when your course has been marked as completed. At that time, you will be able to download your certificate of completion from the TCL student portal. Completion of a course evaluation on the portal will be required.
How long will it take to receive my transcripts?
Official transcripts can be requested from our academic partners. Please note: TCL transmits grades to university partners within 24-48 hours of receipt; however, the time frame for grade processing varies by partner. We suggest that participants wait at least 3 weeks from the last day of class to submit transcript requests. Some universities may be able to furnish transcripts within 3-4 weeks of final grade notification, while others may require 6-8 weeks to fulfill transcript requests. If you need assistance, please contact the university's registrar office directly.
Can these courses transfer into a graduate program?
Please contact your academic advisor prior to enrolling in a course to determine if the course will count toward a degree program.
What if I have special needs?
In compliance with ADA guidelines, TCL encourages participants with a temporary or permanent condition that might affect their ability to perform in class to inform us when registering. Adaptations of teaching methods, course materials, or testing may be made as needed to provide for equitable participation.
If I have a question or a problem, who do I contact?
TCL staff members are available to answer any questions Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time via our toll-free line (888) 550-5465 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I receive a 1098-T Form?
The Connecting Link does not issue 1098-T tuition statements as our courses are not eligible for the Department of Education's student aid programs. TCL will provide a statement of tuition paid, which students may be able to report as an expense on their tax forms. TCL is not qualified to advise on tax matters; therefore, please consult with your tax advisor regarding the completion of your tax forms. TCL's tax ID number is: 47-2179446.
Who are the instructors of your courses?
Our instructors are educators who hold a master’s or doctoral degree and are accomplished in their field. Instructors are carefully screened by our university partners and are regularly evaluated by TCL and participants.
Who is The Connecting Link, Inc.?
Founded in 1981 by educators for educators, The Connecting Link offers engaging and relevant courses designed to meet the professional learning needs of educators and their school districts.
Our mission is to help educators enhance the teaching practice to positively impact student learning. We provide strategies and tools that professionals need to be successful among ever-changing challenges and opportunities in education. Our courses are developed in accordance
with multiple sets of national standards and contain current educational research. They are designed at the graduate level and are suitably presented with adult learning principles in mind.
TCL courses may be taken for graduate credit through our partnerships with accredited institutions of higher learning. Participants completing courses for credit will receive university transcripts. Courses approved by these institutions may be eligible toward advanced degree program options. TCL courses may also be taken as a noncredit option to earn clock hours only. Certificates of completion documenting course hours will be provided.*
Whether in the classroom or online, TCL’s high-quality learning opportunities help school professionals work with a community of peers to forge durable links between the latest research and daily practice.
* TCL courses are intended for use toward salary advancement, professional development requirements or inclusion in advanced degree programs. Participants should; however, always check with their academic advisor, district and/or state for approval prior to enrolling to determine how course credits or hours may be applied. In those areas where The Connecting Link is not listed as a provider, school districts appointed as approved providers may be able to document hours toward state requirements. Memorandum - Clock Hours in IL