Potential Student FAQ

Potential Student FAQ is for those who may have questions about online classes. Click the question to read the answer
Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) for potential students so you can get an understanding of the online learning environment. Class participation, attendance, class access, communication with instructors, and staying informed are all covered here and throughout the website. If you have other questions as a potential student you can use the contact form or call us.

How does the online course work?
All our classes are online.

Most of the classes are paced classes. Each week a new module will be released. The module contains online written lectures, assignments, and a quiz. You will have all week to complete the assigned tasks. All work is due the following Sunday.

If you are enrolled in one of the self-paced classes (101 Introduction to Construction Estimating or 102 Essential Construction Math only) a new module will open once you have taken the quiz for the prior module. You have access to Module 1 upon receiving class access. For example, once you take the quiz for Module 1, Module 2 will open.

Each class has an instructor. Our instructors are construction professionals with decades of specialized experience in estimating, building, civil site work, supervision, and project management.

How do I register for a class?
Click on Registration Options on the main menu.  You will register online with one of our partners.  We do not register students directly.  Choose where you wish to register based upon whether you wish to take the class for college credit or for a certificate from one of our non-profit organization partners.  If you are registering with one of our partners such as the AGC Education Foundation, American Society of Professional Estimators, or SDSU then go to their web site and fill out their registration form.

Once you have completed the registration process then we will issue you a password and get you started in the course.

When do I receive access to the class?
Students enrolled in paced classes are sent class access one week prior to the start of class. As soon as you receive an email with your login information you can access your online class(es).

Students enrolled in self-paced classes are sent class access within one to two working days of registration.

SDSU students receive access to class Thursday before class starts.

When do I have to attend class?
Classes are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Log in several times throughout the week to contribute to and keep up with the online discussions. When you log in is up to you.

Most of our courses require about 4 or 5 hours per week of effort on your part.  You can expect to log into the online classroom early in the week when the weekly module is released.  Then, log in several times throughout the week to keep up with the discussions.

How will I interact with the teacher?
We have several communication tools available to us.  We know how important it is for the teacher to be available to the student.  The in-classroom message system works best for all teachers.
Do I have to be online for 3 hours at a time?
No.  The correct way to take an online class is to log into the course often for short periods of time.  You will spend a bit more time online early in the week when the weekly lesson is released.  Then, as the week progresses, log on often to monitor and contribute to the discussion, case studies, and problem solving exercises.
How do students learn in an online classroom?
Students learn by being actively involved in the course.  Participate in discussion groups where case studies, industry problems and other topics are discussed.  Submit your response to a discussion question by using the classroom discussion board.  Respond to what another student has submitted.  Work out the solutions to problems, discuss applicable construction experience or ask questions if you do not have an experience to share, and study your textbook.  Use the instructor selected resources at the end of each lesson to further your education.
How will I know when the next semester starts?
You may check the Class Schedule anytime to stay informed of classes available for the upcoming semester. Or you can register for the newsletter. The newsletter highlights the upcoming classes. It is sent three weeks before the start of class.
Do you have a demonstration course I can look at?
Yes we do. We have an online demo tour where you can see class module, lesson, discussion board, quiz, grade sheet, and messenger system.

Potential Student Demo Tour

What if I have to go out of town while class is in session?
Students can log into the course from any computer with an Internet connection.  You can submit work for the current lesson throughout the week it is assigned without being late.  If you are late with some assignments, a small grading penalty may be assessed but that should not affect your overall grade if you keep up with your work throughout the course. Ask your instructor what his policy is for late work.
What computer set up should I have to take the class?
If you can surf the Internet then you probably have everything you need for the online course.  Our online classes work with all popular browsers and hand held devices. Check the class syllabus for additional information.
How do I get into the online classroom?
CEI will send you a link to your online classroom with your login information.The email will not come from the organization you registered through.
Is an online class easier than an in-classroom class?
No, they are about the same as far as difficulty is concerned.  Don’t take an online class if you are just looking for an easy way to get a grade. You will learn just as much and work just as hard in our online courses as you would in a classroom course.
Will you keep me informed of upcoming classes?
Yes!  Just register for our email newsletter which is sent out once per semester to announce upcoming classes.  We send the newsletter out about 3 weeks before class starts.  You can opt-in for the newsletter from the footer of this website.  Your email address will only be used to send our newsletter and you can opt-out of the mailing list at any time.