Self-Paced Course Policies & Procedures

Course Policies & Procedures

Course Changes

Western Washington University and WesternOnline reserve the right to change the fees, rules, calendar regulating registration, instruction and other university policies. Western may withdraw courses at any time. Students will be notified of any changes.

Drops for Non-Completion

Course credit for Self-Paced offerings is registered on the quarter that the student enrolls for the course. For Self-Paced courses that may extend out to six months, however, the course will show on the student’s transcript but not be applied to the GPA or overall credit load until the course is completed. If the student does not complete his/her course work or apply for an extension by the expiration date, the enrollment will be canceled and a W for withdrawn will be applied to the transcript.

Self-Paced Policies And Procedures


You may consider yourself enrolled in your course as soon as your registration is confirmed. You may begin working on your lessons the same day you receive the e-mail confirmation.

Studies have shown that students who turn in their first lesson within two weeks of registration are more likely to complete the course than those who wait longer. To increase your chances of success, be sure to begin your course work as early as possible. Set up your own schedule for submitting work and mark your calendar.

Terms Of Enrollment/Extensions:

Payment of tuition and fees enrolls you in a Self-paced course for a period of six months. A grade is recorded on your transcript only if all tuition, fees and postage have been paid and the course has been completed.

You may renew your registration for an additional three months by completing the Self-Paced Extension Request Form before the original registration lapses. A service fee of $50 will be charged to your student account. Only ONE extension is allowed. If you have not completed your course at the end of the six month registration period, and have not paid for an extension, your enrollment will be canceled.

University Policies:

Students enrolled in Western Online courses are expected to abide by the rules and regulations published in Western Washington University’s General Catalog (Bulletin). View Western Washington University Catalog.

Course Changes:

Western Washington University and the Western Online program reserve the right to change the fees, rules, calendar regulating registration, instruction and other university policies. Western may withdraw courses at any time.
A change in instructor, syllabus, and/or course requirements is occasionally necessary. These changes can occur because of retirement, a textbook going out of print, changes in credits made by the academic department, and other reasons.

Refunds/Course Withdrawal:

You may withdraw from a Self-paced course and receive a refund of tuition any time within 30 days from your registration date. Your request must be made in person or in writing. A charge for each assignment submitted will be withheld from your refund as a service fee. There is no refund of the registration fee.

You may withdraw from a course at any time during your enrollment. Submit the Extension Schedule Adjustment Form to the Western Online office. Withdrawal from a Self-paced course does not affect late withdrawal privileges at WWU.

Minimum/Maximum Time For Course Completion:

Generally, the minimum time allowed to complete any Self-paced course is seven weeks from the time the first lesson is received by the instructor. To go any faster would jeopardize learning the course material. Under no circumstances may you submit all, or even most, lessons at one time. For some courses, the syllabus may state the maximum rate of lesson submissions, or it may direct that certain lessons be prepared and submitted after a previous lesson has been graded and returned. Unless the syllabus states otherwise, if you exceed the guideline of lessons submitted, any lessons over the maximum will be returned to you ungraded, and you will be required to resubmit them. It is important to take time to reflect on and make use of instructor comments in subsequent lessons.

Although Self-paced students have as long as six months to complete their course work, students who are graduating before the end of six months must finish their Self-paced course by the end of the quarter of graduation. As well, students who use a Self-paced course to qualify for financial aid MUST complete the course within the quarter that aid was received.

Workload Per Credit:

Students are expected to put in 30 hours of work (reading, study, research, writing, etc.) for every credit. For example, a 3-credit course requires 90 hours of work from the student, a 4-credit course requires 120 hours of work, and so on. Most Self-paced faculty will assign additional reading to substitute for lectures, so you may have more "at-home" work than in a regular, in-person class.


Please do not expect the impossible of the western online office and your instructor. If you have a deadline to meet, organize your assignments to have all your work, final examination included, in our office three weeks before you need your grade.

It takes time to process lessons and exams, get them graded, respond back and forth, and process the necessary paperwork to submit your final grade to the Registrar's Office, especially during the summer months, holidays and quarter breaks. It is YOUR responsibility to plan ahead and avoid any disappointment for yourself.

Lesson Submission:

All work should be submitted to the Western Online office or depending on the course, in Canvas, not the instructor. All assignments/exams must be completed in order to receive credit for the course. Use a Self-Paced Lesson Cover sheet as the first page of each assignment. Keep a copy of all work submitted, as lessons occasionally have been lost in the mail.

Prompt service on lessons is not possible during the Christmas holidays, between quarters, and summer months when many instructors are away from campus. Delays in lesson return must be expected at these times. Students may pick up their lessons at the IL office, or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with the lessons for return by mail. Western Online will automatically mail lessons to you at the address listed on your Lesson Cover Sheet or you may choose to pick your lesson up in the Western Online office.

Faxing Lessons:

You may submit your lessons 24 hours a day by fax at (360) 650-6858. Include the Self-Paced Lesson Cover sheet with your faxed lesson. Your name, the assignment number and the page number should appear at the top of every page faxed. The Western Online office is not responsible for illegible or missing pages from your fax. Your faxed assignment will be held for pick-up after grading in the Western Online office or you may send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for the return of your graded work. We regret that we are unable to return your work by fax.

E-Mailing Lessons:

E-mail is not available for all courses. If e-mail is an option for your course, strict guidelines must be followed. Check your syllabus for further instructions.


Please read the Exam Request Form for information on scheduling exams. Be sure to make arrangements for your exams well in advance of the date you wish to take the test. If you reside in the Bellingham area, please contact the WWU Testing Center, (360) 650-3080, to schedule your exam.

If you live outside the Bellingham area, you must arrange for supervision of examinations. Two hours is the usual time allowed for a final exam. Upon request, the Western Online office will provide information on the time limit and general type of examination. Requests for examinations not held at WWU must be made on the Exam Request form.

Grades, Pass/No-pass:

At the time you register for your course, you must designate whether you wish to receive a letter grade or a pass/no-pass grade.

If you have a specific deadline for completing your course and having the grade recorded on your transcript, please inform the Western Online office at the time you register.

Pass/no-pass grading is available at WWU on an optional basis in elective courses only. None of the following courses may be taken on a pass/no-pass basis: courses required for a major or minor, supporting courses, professional education requirements, writing proficiency requirement, and General University Requirements.

Students may not change the grade mode if they have completed more than 40% of the course work in their Self-paced course. To change the grading mode before reaching the level of 40% completed, students must notify the Western Online office of the desired change in writing.

"X" Grades:

If the final grade in your Self-paced course is not available by the end of the quarter in which your registration first appears, you will receive an "X" on your grade report. "X" means missing grade and is basically just a space holder. It does not affect your GPA and does not harm you in any way. When your final grade comes through our office, we will process it and the "X" will be converted to a standard grade on your transcript.


Transcripts are available from the Registrar's Office. Please refer to their website for current cost. Request transcripts by writing to: Registrar's Office, Old Main 230, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, 98225-9008, or by calling (360) 650-3355 or faxing (360) 650-7327. Visit the Registrar’s Office website for more information. If you complete a course at a time during the quarter when a transcript is not available, an official verification letter can be sent to whomever you wish. Contact the Western Online office concerning this matter.

Note For Matriculated, Main-campus WWU Students:

Enrollment in only Self-paced courses may qualify as continuing enrollment for WWU students who take one quarter off during the academic year. If you receive financial aid and take a quarter off, please contact the Financial Aid office (360-650-3470) regarding your eligibility. Contact the Registrar’s Office (360-650-3432) if you have questions about your student status. Newly admitted students taking only Western Online courses should contact Admissions (360-650-3440) concerning continuing admission status.

During the final quarter before graduation, enrollment in only Western Online courses must be approved in advance by the degree evaluators in the Registrar’s office, (360) 650-3985 or e-mail:

Library Privileges:

Students within driving distance of Bellingham may use Western’s Wilson Library. You have access to the same article databases and can have library books mailed to you through Western’s Library Services for Extended and Outreach Education.


We encourage you to contact our office at the start of the course with your questions and concerns. Keep in touch with us throughout your enrollment.

Western Online
Western Washington University
516 High Street, MS - 9102
Bellingham, WA 98225-5996
Phone: (360) 650-3650

Or Visit us On-Campus in College Hall 133