Florida Palms University understands and supports the educational needs of adult learners and those who cannot attend in-campus classes. Therefore, a Distance Education Division has been developed.
The Online Classes at Palms are as rigorous and as demanding as in-campus classes. And all rules and regulations of the University are enforced equally for in-campus and online students.
Online students at Palms receive an orientation course to introduce them to the University’s online platform, the different tools they will be using as they progress in their courses, and all the resources available to them.
Academic Programs offered via Distance Education
All programs at the University are offered both in-campus and via Distance Education. Expected learning outcomes and completion requirements for these programs are identical for all students regardless of the delivery method chosen.
Prerequisites for Admission in Distance Education
Admission requirements for distance education programs are identical to admission requirements for in-campus programs. Additionally, students must demonstrate the ability to succeed in an online web-based educational environment and are expected to be computer-literate and familiar with the internet prior to enrollment. An assessment is given during the admissions process to evaluate the student’s abilities in such areas as computer literacy, self-discipline, motivation, and the requirements for successful completion of online courses. Additionally, to assess the student’s computer and internet skills and proficiency, an orientation and assessment is also given to the students prior to enrollment. Students scoring low proficiency results in their assessment are referred to the Online Academic Director for further review and orientation prior to starting an academic program via Distance Education.
Distance Education Facilities and Equipment
UNIR counts with ample and accessible computer labs with internet access for students use. The University also provides technical assistance, services and training through its online platform. Students enrolled in a Distance Education program, are required to have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) – a high-speed (ISP) is recommended, a Java capable browser, and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Online Students at Atlantis University receive an institutional email account (@palms.university) for all academic matters and personal use.
The following list shows the minimum technical characteristics required for using the University’s virtual campus. The student must have access to equipment with these characteristics.
Microsoft Windows: XP, Vista, 7
Mac OS X v10.4 or higher
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or higher
Mozilla 3.6 or higher
512 MB RAM or higher
Sound Card and Speakers
Pentium III processor, higher or compatible
Display resolution 800 X 600 pixels (as minimum)
Minimum technical competences:
Use correctly Web Browsing software
Use an Office Package (Word processors, slide makers and spreadsheets).
Be familiar with electronic communication processes and tools (e-mail, chat and social networks)
Responsibility: In the virtual environment students are responsible for their own learning process.
Commitment: Students must be committed with the process, the activities and their work team in order to have a successful learning experience.
Honesty: Plagiarism and other forms of intellectual fraud will not be tolerated in the University’s virtual environment. For more information, refer to the school’s Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy
Perseverance: For distance learning it’s essential that students can keep up with all the assignments in their due dates.
Distance Education Faculty/Student Interaction
Florida Palms University ensures that faculty provides opportunities and means for timely and meaningful interaction with students appropriate to the learning environment. At UNIR faculty/student interaction is critical for success. And given the nature of online learning, this interaction becomes more and more important and necessary.
Distance Education programs at UNIR facilitate interaction between faculty/student and student/student. The different methods of interaction include: online lectures, emails, document sharing, chat rooms, and forums. Faculty members log in daily to assist students with questions and concerns. The University staff and faculty members make other resources available for contact like telephone, fax, and office visits. Moreover, the University encourages collaborative learning activities in the classroom for both in-campus and online students. Online courses have a variety of constructive interaction activities. Most of them are accomplished through forum discussions and debates as academic activity. Also, most courses use a collaborative approach in developing final projects, so students can interact through the media provided, which is constantly available in the school’s online platform. Other interaction activities, such as chat and web meetings are required in every course, especially for online tutorships and real-time examinations.
Distance Education Services
Students enrolled in distance education programs have access to equivalent resources as students enrolled in residential programs. The institution provides and supports students (both in-campus and online) and faculty access and user privileges to sufficient and appropriate library collections, as well as to other learning/information resources consistent with the programs offered. The school’s library holdings and electronic collections are adequately in support of the University programs and the in-campus and online student community.
For students enrolled in Online Courses/Programs, UNIR is committed to providing effective administrative, advising and instructional support in order to achieve learner-centered environment in the school’s distance education programs.
The Student Services Department ensures that student services are available to all in-campus and online students. Student Services to which students enrolled in distance education program(s)/course(s) of study have access to are the same as the services to which in-campus students enjoy, and such services cover areas such as coping skills, career development, budget and personal financial planning skills, general development, academic advising, testing, supervision and monitoring of attendance and leave of absence, graduate employment assistance and more.
All services are available for online students via the University website, virtual campus, in-person, and social media, where students can access anytime, anywhere.
In addition to the regular student services available to all students, distance education students have additional resources adjusted to the online learning environment, such as online orientation, online technical assistance, online tutorials, videos, interaction spaces between faculty and students, and a guide to all other student services.
Distance Education Academic Advising
To ensure effective advising for online learners, Academic Advisors are available by phone and by E-mail, always accessible from enrollment, through prosecution of studies and until graduation, as well as continuing education advising. Also, Academic advisement is available from the Academic Director upon request from the student. Students with issues of a personal nature will be referred to local public or private agencies for professional assistance.
Distance Education Career and Placement Services
Career and Placement services are provided to all students through the institution’s website, on the Career Services section students are able to upload their resumes, schedule an appointment with a Career Services Counselor, browse through job offers and postulate, receive advising and read information on how to prepare a resume and perform successfully in job interviews.
Distance Education Technical and Instructional Support
For technical and instructional support, Palms offers a toll-free help line, which is available for students to use if they run into technical problems while taking an online course. The help desk also assists learners on the use of the virtual campus and the elements available in every online course. Also, asynchronous help is provided via the virtual campus. Students can reach instructional personnel and clear specific doubts about activities inside a course, by publishing a message in the questions and concerns forum.
Distance education students have online tutoring available for every course, and they may reach the instructor, School Chair, academic advisors, or specialized school personnel through the questions and concerns forum, where students may get tutorships from other students as well. Moreover, online courses have a specific schedule for online synchronous tutorships. During this time, students can chat directly with the instructor or other students.