Collage of images including a female student working on a laptop, a set of hands using a computer tablet, and distance learning icons overlaying them.

Student Resources

Farmingdale State College understands the flexible scheduling and independent learning opportunities that today's students expect. The Office of Distance Learning's mission is providing our students quality distance learning education and supporting our faculty in doing so.

FSC is committed to providing our distance learning community with the resources to facilitate success. We offer a wide array of services that can be accessed from anywhere, to support you through your distance learning experience. 


As a distance learning student, you’re allowed the flexibility and convenience to be able to take the classroom anywhere you go! Instructors and students build a community online, that fosters learning and growth as you work towards your education goals. Students at Farmingdale State College can take any of the distance learning courses hosted by the college, or Open SUNY, which offers over 500 online degree options. These courses are also available in many different distance learning formats that you can take depending on your preference. There are some things to consider before taking on a distance learning course. Students need to meet the minimum technology requirements to be able to partake in their course. It is also important to understand the kind of commitment that’s necessary to succeed in your distance learning course. We have put together a self-assessment  External link that can give you insight on whether you are ready to take an online course. 

Technology Requirements

To take courses through Brightspace, your computer system should meet at least the following minimum requirements:

  • Processor: 1 Ghz or faster
  • Operating system: Windows 7 and higher, Mac OSX 10.6 and higher
  • RAM: 8 GB is recommended  Internet Connection: Broadband (high-speed) capable of 1.5 Mbps or higher
  • Web browser: Google Chrome browser is highly recommended
  • Java must be installed, and pop-up blockers must be allowed
  • Monitor that supports screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher
  • Word processing software: Microsoft Word is recommended 


How to Find Distance Learning Courses

Distance Learning Formats

Online activity is mixed with classroom meetings, replacing 50% of face-to-face instructional activities with online learning experiences and activities. The National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) describes this as a “replacement” approach, in which online activity replaces some class meetings.” (Online Learning Consortium) 

Learning through an online class requires different skills than learning in a face-to-face environment. It's important to know what you're getting into and to understand the kind of commitment that's necessary for success in online learning. 

  1. Make sure you are adequately prepared for your online course.
    Along with the basic technology requirements, there may be additional tools such as other web-based materials, textbooks, application software, etc. you may need for your course. Make sure you can access all that is required to participate in the course. 

  2. Adhere to all Net-Etiquette Guidelines
    As a student, you must adhere to all net-etiquette guidelines when enrolled in an online course. You can use this guide External link to view what is expected of you.

  3. Effective Time-Management Skills
    To succeed as an online learner, you must be able to manage your time effectively. Although online courses allow flexibility in schedule, you must make sure that appropriate time is allocated weekly to keep up with your class and meet all deadlines without the constant reminder from your instructor. Typically, students should plan on spending 3-5 hours per credit each week in study. 

  4. Basic technical skills
    You must have basic computer skills such as word processing and some experience using the Internet. Open SUNY recommends signing onto an Internet Service Provider a few months before the semester begins to give you time to practice using the Internet. Depending on your online course, instructors may use a wide variety of technology to conduct the course, and as an online student, you also need to be open to the idea of learning how to use new technology. 

  5. Hold yourself accountable
    Hold yourself accountable to keep up with your course and meet all necessary deadlines. Do not wait till the last minute to submit assignments and study for exams. Motivate yourself stay on top of your course work. Allocate time weekly to study for your course. Log into your Brightspace once a day to check for any updates. You are responsible for your progression in the course. Do not fall behind! 

  6. Persistence

    An important part of succeeding in an online course is persistence. As an online student, you need to be head strong in tackling any issue that you may come across and persist through challenges. Seek help when needed and keep trying. As far as course work, it is important that you keep yourself motivated to complete all your work. Maintain a manageable study schedule, good learning environment and keep pushing forward!

  7. Effective Communication Skills

    As an online student, you need to be able to effectively communicate with your instructor to seek any help or guidance you may need. In an online environment, instructors cannot pick up on non-verbal cues, such as a look of confusion on a student’s face. Take advantage of the tools that are available to you, which may include but are not limited to e-mail, chat groups, virtual office hours, calling, discussion groups, text message, and so on. Another rule of thumb is to always follow is to make sure that your communications are clear, concise and with respect and courtesy.

  8. Good Study Environment

    To achieve academic success in online class, a dedicated learning environment to study is imperative. This space should be somewhere you can focus and do your work. In addition, to a dedicated space to work, a good study environment should be free of distractions such as your phone, television, games, etc. Get all your study materials together with wifi and get working to get those A’s!

  9. Actively Participate

    Participation is a key component in an online course. Engage with your fellow classmates and instructor through outlets such as discussion boards. Not only does participation fosters a thriving online community, it will also understand course material better.

  10. Have a realistic understanding of your online course.

    Online courses allow students the flexibility and convenience to be able to work whenever and wherever. This does not mean that the course will be easier than a tradition face-to-face course. Online learning allows you to be an independent learner but with that comes accountability, internal motivation, effective time management skills, and maturity. This learning style may not be for every student but understanding what is best for you will help you succeed. You can get a good idea of whether you are ready to take an online class by taking a self-assessment External link. For additional information, refer to Open SUNY External link.

To access your courses on Brightspace, refer to this tutorial for step by step instructions

Withdrawal Process from Online Class

You are registered at Farmingdale State and, therefore, you will follow the College's policies, including its academic calendar, withdrawal dates, refund policies, etc. If you are interested in withdrawing from your Open SUNY courses, you should notify your instructor and contact the Farmingdale State Registrar's Office (934-420-2776).

Information about the College's Academic Policies can be found in the College Catalog.

Reference the College's Academic Calendar for important dates and deadlines.

Students Residing Outside New York State and taking Distance Learning Courses at Farmingdale State College 

Every student deserves a positive educational experience. Sometimes a student’s experience may not be what they anticipate, and the student may have a concern or a complaint.

Federal regulations require institutions delivering courses by distance learning to provide students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with the state approval or licensing entity in the student’s state of residency and any other relevant state official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint.

The student should begin the complaint process with the institution and if resolution is not found, the student would contact the institution’s home state SARA Portal Entity. NC-SARA maintains a directory of SARA State Portal Entities. You can locate the SARA Portal Entity and other information regarding your complaint options at the NC-SARA website at Student Complaints | NC-SARA

New York State Education: Filing a Complaint About a College or University


For all types of complaints concerning colleges and universities in New York State, the first course of action must be to try to resolve the complaint directly with the administration of the college or university involved. If you are still unable to get a resolution or you are having trouble with your course and/or distance learning experience, please contact the Distance Learning Helpdesk at Our team of instructional designers will be able to help you get in touch with College contacts who can help you. 

The NYSED Filing a Complaint About a College or University site will provide information on where and how to file a complaint. Please do not send a complaint to the Office of College and University Evaluation until you have read all of the information. This will assure that you are sending your complaint to the appropriate agency/office.


The Office of Distance Learning is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM: 934-420-5300 or email additional help you can also contact Open SUNY Helpdesk: available Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 12 AM; Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM; Sundays 1 PM to 9 PM: 1-844-673-6786 (1-844-OPENSUNY) or email 

distance learning

Greenley Hall
Monday-Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Last Modified 4/16/24