Inver Hills Paralegal Program

Partially Online Paralegal Program

Introduction

Welcome to the Paralegal Program online courses brought to you by the hard work and dedication of the paralegal program faculty, director and staff at Inver Hills Community College. Our online initiative was funded by an E-Learning Curriculum Grant from the Minnesota State College and University (MnSCU). A big thank you goes to MnSCU!

With our online paralegal program, you can experience the excellent, quality learning that was only found in our traditional classroom-based education and now is delivered over the Internet to you. Though not every course is available online, many of our courses are, making your education planning more convenient and flexible.

Sit up, hold on to your computer chairs, turn up your monitors, and get ready to become a paralegal!

American Bar Association Approved

Our partially-online paralegal program is approved by the ABA and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association, and the Minnesota State College and Universities system. The partially-online paralegal classes in our program are the same as the traditional courses and appear as such on your transcript. These courses are part of the required curriculum and count toward the Associate in Science Degree or Paralegal Certificate. Students must take at least (10) semester credits of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction under American Bar Association Guidelines.

Online, Hybrid, and Web-Enhanced

What do all these terms mean? An online course is taught completely over the internet except for in-person test taking and orientation. All communication is conducted over the Desire2Learn (D2L) system on the internet accessed through the Inver Hills webpage.

A hybrid partially-online course is 1/2 traditional (in-person) class and 1/2 online. Students are expected to come to campus for regularly scheduled class meetings approximately every other week or once a week in summer session. The week or time in between class meetings will be spent working online reading lectures, completing assignments, and participating in group discussions.

A web-enhanced class is a regular, traditional class that requires weekly in-person attendance on campus. The instructor enhances the course by posting assignments, projects, and group work in Brightspace D2L.

Not Self-Paced

The online/hybrid paralegal courses are not self-paced. As with any other course in the program, you will need to read lectures and texts, prepare and submit assignments and projects, engage in group discussions, and take exams at regularly scheduled due dates and times. It is fine to work ahead but be mindful of deadlines and group discussion requirements.

Some students come to an online class with some preconceived notions that the class can be taken at their own speed in their own time frame. Online paralegal program classes don’t meet at a set time for the lectures or discussions. Instead, students go to the online class several times a week to review the lectures, submit assignments, and participate in discussions with other students.

Time Commitment

Online/hybrid classes in the paralegal program are intense, college-level courses. You can expect to spend a minimum of 1 hour per credit per week working online for class time. In addition, you will spend a minimum of 2-3 hours per credit per week on homework. For example, you will spend a least 9-12 hours a week for a 3-credit paralegal online course. That is 3 hours online per week for lectures, participation, and class work, and a minimum of 6-9 hours per week for homework.

Timeliness

Plan ahead and turn your work in on time for an online/hybrid class. This is the number one problem for an online student! Review the online/hybrid course syllabus and create a calendar with highlighted due dates and intense workload days.

English and Grammar Skills

Students must assess into ENG 1108 to take PA 1102 – Introduction to Law and Contracts, and complete ENG 1108 to take PA 2222 – Legal Writing and Analysis.

Keyboarding Skills

It is strongly recommended that you have basic keyboarding skills to be successful in our online/hybrid paralegal program courses. You should be able to type at least 45 words per minute, and understand how to use the internet, compose an email, and create a word document.

Grades

Each instructor determines the weight and make up of the course grade. The syllabus will explain the grading system. Most online/hybrid assignments require original responses and group discussions as well as participation, and timeliness in submission. You will be given instructions by your teacher on how, when, and where to take your exams.  Your instructor will give you directions on how and when to access your grades. Final grades will be submitted to the Records Office and will be posted 2-3 weeks after the end of the semester or summer session.

Required Texts

Any required texts or materials will be listed on the course syllabus and can be ordered through the college bookstore. Go to the Inver Hills bookstore for books for your courses. Find the semester, paralegal program (PA), and the number of the course (i.e., PA 1102). A list of the required and optional textbooks, course packs, and materials will be available, and can be made available through the Inver Hills bookstore located on the first floor of the College Center. Hours vary so call ahead to be sure the bookstore is open at 651-450-3533.

Orientation and Tutorial

You will be expected to attend a live, in-person orientation on campus for your online paralegal course. Part of the orientation process to the online course will include taking a tutorial that will familiarize you with Desire2Learn (D2L), our course management system.

Instructor Assistance

Instructors are available by email, phone or during on-campus office hours or by appointment. The instructor will give out his or her information at the orientation, first class session or on the syllabus.

Technical Support

Technical Support is available through the Inver Hills – Online Course Information link. Request technical help with your Deisre2Learn (D2L) class.