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Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions, with responses:



These sample questions are intended to answer only the most frequently asked questions. Should you have any further questions or concerns, you may call the Media Center at (916) 781-0406 or email the webmaster.

Q. Can I record the classes and watch them later, or do I have to view the telecourses LIVE?

A. Sierra College Telecourses are designed to be "LIVE" and "interactive." While there is no restriction against recording the broadcasts, students who do this, in lieu of watching the telecourse LIVE, do so at their own risk and the Sierra College Media Department does not make individual video tape copies for students. There will, however, be copies of the first 2 weeks each semester for late adds to review missed classes located at the Media Counter on the 3rd floor of the LRC.

Q. What should I do if the TV signal goes out, and I am unable to watch my class?

A. In the event of a signal outage, please call the Sierra TV Signal Hotline for instructions and updates at (916) 781-7111. Do not call the control room as they only take calls to be patched through to the live class.


Q. How do I register for a LIVE Telecourse?

A. Registration procedures are the same for TV courses as they are for regular classes at Sierra College. See the instructions in the front of the course catalog for more information. If you are trying to add a telecourse during the semester add/drop period, you will need to obtain an add/drop form from the Admissions and Records Office, and have it signed by the course instructor, if the instructor is accepting more students. Please note that the Distance Learning department does not have the add codes.

Q. How do I take tests or turn in homework assignments? Do I have to come to the campus at a certain time or date?

A. Homework assignments can be turned in, tests taken, and handouts picked up at one of the Distance Learning Testing Centers. The Rocklin Testing Center is located in Room 402 of the Learning Resource Center. The Nevada County Testing Center is located in the LRC at the Grass Valley Campus. Assignments may also be faxed to the Testing Center (please call for the fax number.) Course instructors will announce testing dates ahead of time, and will generally give TV students a 2-3 day window to take exams at the Testing Center. Students can take the exam at any time during normal operating hours, at either Testing Center location.

Q. I have a satellite dish. Can I receive the Sierra College Channel?

A. Unfortunately, Sierra College television channels are not available via satellite (traditional dishes, DirecTV®, or Dish Network®.), even though they will tell you that you get all the local channels. You must subscribe to one of the cable providers listed in order to receive our broadcasts.

Q. I live in Sacramento or El Dorado County - will I get Sierra College Channels?

A. Unfortunately, we do not broadcast to Sacramento or El Dorado Countys - we only broadcast to Placer County through the Cable companies. Even if you have Comcast cable in Sacramento county, they have different agreements with each city and they are
out of our jurisdiction. The course might be available to view on iTunes U, but you would still have to come to campus for tests and turning in homework.

Q. I've registered for an online class. Now what should I do / when can I log on?

A. You will need to go through the online class orientation whether before or after you've registered to learn about the Blackboard website and how to log on. You can take the orientation online from our website at your convenience, or attend a live orientation - please refer to our orientation schedule for dates and times. During the orientation, you will learn your username and login ID to enable you access to your course information. If you have gone through the orientation in a previous semester, then you do not need to do it again - just use your same login & password as before. However, you may want to review from time to time to catch any updates or changes that may have happened since you last took an online course.

Q. I cannot log on to the Blackboard system.

If you try to log on and fail, it could be for a number of reasons: First, please note that you won't have access to your class until the first day of the semester. Also, please make sure that you are going to our login portal: Also double check that your login information is correct (your username is the same as your MySierra username, however the password is different - please see instructions on the login portal at the above link.). If you still have trouble, try going through our Trouble-Shooter Guide.

Please note that after you've registered, it can take up a few hours for your student data
to come through the automatic daily Blackboard download process.

Q. I can log into Blackboard, but do not see my class(es).

If you are able to log on prior to the semester start but don't see your class, the teacher just hasn't made it available (visible) to students yet - most instructors do not make the class available until the first day of the semester. If you still do not see the class after the first day of school, please email the teacher or the Distance Learning department.

Please note that after you've registered, it can take a few hours for your class to be added to your Blackboard account through the automatic daily download process.

Q. What kind of computer hardware requirements are there for taking an online class through Sierra College?

A. All Sierra College Online courses are web-based. Therefore, only a computer with an internet connection and web browser is required, as well as a word processing program that will create .doc or .rtf files. You can download a free word processing application from if you don't own one. Any additional software will be specified in the course description.

Q. How do I learn how to access my account and use the Blackboard® software?

A. An orientation is required of all new online students in order to explain procedures and answer any questions. You can either take the orientation online here on our website, or go to a live session. To find out when the next orientation session will be offerred, please click here to see when the next orientations will be held.

Q. Is there any specific time when I have to be online to participate in the online course?

A. Sierra College online courses are asynchronous, which means there is no fixed time when students must be online. Instructors will post assignments and deadlines, and students can log in and complete their work as their own schedule permits. You should be prepared to log on at least 3 times per week, as well as have enough time to read all of the announcements, lectures, and assignments. You also need to remember that it will take a bit longer than an "on ground" class as you have to type all your correspondence and class participation.

Q. I'm in an Online class and cannot type in the text box in the Discussion Board

A. Your browser is most likely missing the plug-in needed to run the text box editor. To update your browser, please go through the steps in the Browser Tune-up.

Q. My instructor cannot open my document that I sent them

A. You need to have a word processing application that will create .doc or .rtf files as a requirement to take Online classes. If you have Office 2007, then your documents might not save in a compatible format that older versions can read, and your Online instructors might not be able to open them. To save your documents in an acceptable format in Word 2007, go to File, then Save As, then choose an older version of Word, or choose Rich Text Format. If you do not own a word processing application, you can download one for free from

Q. How are tests given in an Online class?

A. Most Online courses are set up so that you can take the tests and quizzes online in the same course shell that the rest of the course is accessed. Occasionally an instructor will require students to come on campus to take the test in one of our testing centers, so if this is a problem for you, you will want to email the instructor before the semester begins to work out an alternative. Click here for information regarding taking tests in Blackboard.

If for some reason you are not having success using Internet Explorer, you might try download the Firefox browser and see if that works better on your system.

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