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Math, Science, and Computer Science and Technology FAQs

Questions about eligibility

Am I eligible to enroll in CTY Online Programs Math, Science, and Computer Science courses?

To see the programs and courses for which you are eligible, check the CTY Eligibility Assessment if you have test scores for SCAT, STB, SAT, PSAT 8/9, or ACT tests, or check the tables showing eligibility guidelines on the Admissions and Eligibility page. You should also review the course descriptions by clicking on the course title in the Course Catalog, since most courses have prerequisites.

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Can I still take a course even if I’ve never taken the SCAT, STB, SAT-I, PSAT, or ACT?

CTY Online Programs may offer provisional admission allowing new students to take one online course if they are unable to test in time (in cases where a student has specific time constraints in which they need to complete a course, for example) and can demonstrate outstanding academic abilities through alternate standardized tests. To continue in the program and enroll in subsequent courses, or to participate in summer residential or commuter programs, students will need to submit qualifying scores on one of the required assessments appropriate for their grade level. Visit CTY Online Programs’ provisional admission information page for more details and instructions on how to apply.

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Can placement testing be used to establish eligibility?

No. Placement test results, in addition to report cards and/or recommendation letters, cannot be used as a substitute for CTY Online Programs eligibility qualifying test scores. All students should arrange to meet CTY’s eligibility requirements prior to requesting a placement test.

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Can successful completion of a CTY Online Programs or Summer Programs course establish eligibility for the CTY Online Programs?

No. Eligibility is based on the student's performance on one of several specific tests that are dependent on the student's grade in school. See Eligibility Guidelines and Qualifying Scores for CTY Online Programs for the qualifying tests and scores that determine the programs and courses in whicha student is eligible to enroll.

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Questions about the courses

What are individually paced courses?

Students may start individually paced courses at any time during the year (please note that you will need to allow two weeks for processing individually paced course applications) and progress at their own pace during their enrollment time. Enrollment and tuition for individually paced courses are time based, and students may enroll in a course for three, six, or nine months. The amount of content covered is still the same regardless of which enrollment length you select.

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What courses are individually paced?

Math courses (except NCAA-approved courses), chess, computer science and technology (except AP Computer Science A and Intro to Computer Science and Engineering), and science courses (except AP science courses, NCAA-approved courses, Introduction to Forensics, and Inventions in Engineering) are individually paced. All other courses are session-based.

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How is content delivered?

Courses vary in their delivery of content. In most courses, students actively engage with online lectures, interact with online resources, and solve many practice problems through assessments graded both online and by their CTY instructor. Some courses require the purchase of textbooks, lab kits, or other materials. See the "Materials Needed" tab under the course descriptions for details. Students and instructors communicate via email, phone, and interactive virtual classrooms. Instructors track student progress and respond to individual student needs.

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How long does it take to complete a course? 

The time it takes to complete an individually paced course varies greatly, depending upon the course and the student. Each course description contains a suggested period of time for course completion. Most students complete a course in three to six months.

Please see the Academic Calendar for start and end dates for session-based courses. 

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How much time should I spend on the course every week?

Generally, students need about three to five hours per week for lessons, problem sets, instructor correspondence, and homework to complete an elementary or middle school level individually paced course in the recommended course length (see individual course descriptions for more details), and about five to seven hours per week for a high school or college level course. Students may need to adjust the amount of time they spend on the course each week, depending on their desired timeline for completion. Students can email with their CTY instructor for help creating a schedule to guide them through their course.

See course descriptions for the expected time requirements for session-based courses.

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Can students complete an individually paced course that typically takes 6 months in 3 months or 9 months instead?

Yes. Students may enroll for any individually paced course for 3 months, 6 months, or 9 months because individually paced courses are designed to be completed at the student's pace. Most courses provide schedules showing students the pace they need to follow to complete a course in 3 months, 6 months, or 9 months.

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How will successful course completion be documented?

Please allow a couple business days for the final exam to be graded and the final grade to be posted by the instructor. Once the grade is posted, the parent may download an unofficial copy of the Official Academic Record through MyCTY, and place an order for an official copy if needed. Downloading the unofficial copy from MyCTY is the fastest way to get documentation of the student’s grade. To order an Official Academic Record, a parent/guardian will simply need to login to MyCTY, then select 'Academic Record,' and then 'Order an Official Academic Record.' Official academic records are typically shipped within 24-48 hours of when you submit your order request. There is a $5 fee per record, and you are able to order as many records as you need.

Course completion documents, which include a grade and instructor comments, and certificates of completion are provided within 2-3 weeks after the end of the course. The certificate will be sent to the mailing address in MyCTY for each student who successfully completes a course.

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How important is parent/guardian participation?

It is appropriate for parents or guardians to assist students with their course and to help students maintain an acceptable rate of progress. Parents or guardians help ensure that tests are taken and submitted promptly, as well as encourage students to communicate with their instructor. Younger students may need assistance using a computer or reading online content.

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What is the Virtual Classroom?

Students in math, science, and computer science courses have access to the online virtual classroom. Here students can interact with their instructors in real-time using a common, dynamic, graphical palette. The virtual classroom software allows video, voice, text, screen sharing, and whiteboard interaction.

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Questions about selecting a course

How do I know which course is right for me?

See the chart Choosing an Appropriate Math Course for guidance in selecting a math course. Course descriptions and detailed curricula are also available online. In addition, qualified students may register for online placement testing for math, science, and computer science courses.

If you are seeking credit or placement for your CTY course, please discuss placement and credit options with your school officials. Determine if you need to take a course approved by NCAA or another course approver (such as UC A-G) and obtain approval prior to enrolling.

How do I know which course format is right for me?

Some math and science courses are offered as individually paced or session-based. Read more about the course formats to determine if your student would benefit from the flexibility of the individually paced format or the structure and student collaboration available through the session-based format. 

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Is placement testing required?

No. Placement testing is optional except when a student needs to demonstrate that he or she meets a course prerequisite. Though placement testing is optional in most cases, it can be a useful tool in determining which course is most appropriate for your student. Each placement test may only be taken once.

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Questions about your enrollment

Although my enrollment period has not started yet, can I log in to make sure that everything is working properly?

No. You will not be able to access the course before the enrollment start date.

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What should I do if I have trouble logging into my individually paced course?

If you are unable to log into your course on or after your enrollment start date, please email us. You can also fill out a Technical Support form.

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What if I enrolled my child in a course at the wrong level?

Notify us by email within the first two weeks of the course if you believe your child may be enrolled in the wrong level course. The course change will be free of charge if CTY determines that the student should be placed at a different level. (If a course change is requested for another reason, a course change fee may be applied.) If you are not sure if your child is placed in an appropriate level course, contact us by email for counseling to determine if a course change is necessary.

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Can students take a break and pause their enrollment if they are temporarily unable to work on their individually paced course?

Yes. Visit the Pause page on the website for detailed instructions on how to pause an individually paced course.

Note: Session-based courses cannot be paused.

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What if the enrollment period has ended and the individually paced course is not finished?

Parents or guardians can extend enrollment time for one or more months online through MyCTY. For more details, visit the CTY Re-enrollment page.

Note: Session-based courses cannot be extended.

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Will I have access to the course for the entire day on the end date?

Yes. Students will have access the entire day of the enrollment end date. However, students should plan their time accordingly to avoid rushing to finish an individually paced course at the end of the enrollment period. If a student needs more time to complete an individually paced course, parents or guardians can extend their time via MyCTY.

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What if there is still time remaining when the individually paced course is completed?

The individually paced course will be complete once the instructor evaluates the final exam and calculates a final letter grade for the course. Students who complete an individually paced course with five or more days remaining in their enrollment have three options after receiving the grade for the course just completed:

  1. They may choose to advance to only another individually paced course, not a session-based course or flexi-paced course. Please review course prerequisites carefully before notifying the instructor of the student's requested next course.
  2. They may request to put the remaining time on hold, up to one year. When the student is ready to begin the next course, contact ctyonline@jhu.edu. Any time that has been on hold for more than one year will be forfeited.
  3. They may forfeit the remaining time.

If a student chooses to apply the remaining time toward another course, they can work on this course until the enrollment period ends. Students who are advanced into a new course may choose to extend their time for one or more months via MyCTY in order to complete the additional course.

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What if the student is also attending a CTY summer program?

Students should not actively participate in a CTY online course while attending a CTY summer program. Students enrolled in a CTY Online Programs individually paced course during their CTY Summer Program session should have their parents or guardians pause their online course through MyCTY for the time they are away.

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