Distance Learning and Online Education

While the traditional model of in-class instruction is still very much desired by most students, many have come to understand that they need other options if they are to meet their educational goals. To this end, St. Bernard’s offers four different ways of completing any degree program or graduate certificate:

  1. In-class instruction at our physical sites in Rochester, Buffalo, and Albany, usually offered in the evening to accommodate those who have day-time responsibilities
  2. Video conferencing where instructors and students can gather online as a community via Zoom
  3. Online instruction allows students to study and engage at their own pace (St. Bernard's is a part of NC-SARA - the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements - a nonprofit organization that helps expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensure more efficient, consistent, and effective regulation of distance education programs)
  4. A hybrid approach, combining in-class instruction, video conferencing, and online instruction

Courses are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

In-class instruction is greatly desired by and is the preferred way of learning for both student and professor. However, this mode of instruction often presents difficulties on the part of the student because of geographic location, work schedules, weather, and personal life situations. To accommodate some of these difficulties, St. Bernard’s offers classes both during the day and evening, as well as engaging in intensive weekend and summer classes. All of our courses are available through synchronous instruction.

Synchronous video conferencing through Zoom offers a way to synchronously attend class without leaving the comfort of one’s home - something that effectively accommodates the busyness of one’s life. All of our in-person courses are also available through synchronous video conferencing.

Asynchronous online instruction also allows a student to “attend” class according to his/her own schedule. Unlike synchronous video conferencing where one interacts with a class as it is actually taught (for which reason it is referred to as synchronous instruction), asynchronous online instruction proceeds by way of a learning management system called Canvas which is accessed through a web browser and provides a guided approach to the material for that class. This engagement with a class and its material can be quite expansive, ranging from one that is completely text-based and non-interactive, to one that combines diverse interactive elements like video instruction, virtual classrooms, and discussion boards, etc. This form of instruction is available for those that request it from their course professor.

Lastly, hybrid instruction uniquely combines the aforementioned modes of instruction in various ways to affect the teaching of a class.

Taken all together, the educational experience St. Bernard’s provides allows many ways to take advantage of the community that forms the very heart of this institution, as well as a greater range of choices to help students reach their educational ambitions. Whether one is interested in a particular class or wishes to engage the entirety of a degree program or graduate certificate, St. Bernard’s will work with you to design and deliver a way to accomplish your goals.

Please contact the Office of Admissions to see which mode of education is right for you.

St. Bernard's is a part of NC-SARA - the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements - "a nonprofit organization that helps expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensure more efficient, consistent, and effective regulation of distance education programs."