Skip to content
Center for Extended Learning

CELOpen Forum Q&A

Question 1: Students complain that online courses cost too much. Can you give us a breakdown of the cost?

Answer: Actually, the basic tuition charged campus students is the same basic tuition used for online: $174.13 for undergraduates and $230.30 for graduate students. Fees are then added to the basic tuition for both the campus and online student. The final outcome is that a student on campus is charged $210.16 per undergraduate semester hour and the online student is charged $229.24 per undergraduate semester hour.

A full breakdown of online tuition cost as well as information about frequently asked questions can be found at

Question 2: How do online courses fit in with the on campus tuition model where students are not charged for credits after they have paid for the first 12?

Answer: Any outreach class (online, on the MAFB, in Bismarck etc.) offered through CEL is not included in the traditional campus tuition model. No matter how few or how many credits a student is taking, they will always have to pay the per credit hour tuition charged by CEL. For example, if a student has registered for 9 credit hours on campus and wanted to take an online course, that person would have to pay for the online course even though they had not reached the 12 unit ceiling.

More information can be found at

Question 3: What new majors would you like to see online?


 Question 4: Is it possible to cluster several CEL offerings so that credit can be offered, i.e. 5-3 hour trainings?

Answer: It is possible for workshop or professional development credit. For more information contact Amy Woodbeck at 6-3989 of

Question 5: Will online courses follow the 14 student minimum enrollment guideline in place for campus courses?

Answer: The minimum enrollment for campus courses was set after a careful and complete cost analysis. A similar analysis for online courses will be conducted, which will reveal the information needed to determine a minimum enrollment for online courses. Until the analysis is completed, a minimum enrollment of 8 is needed for a CEL course.

Question 6: Moodle or Blackboard?

Answer: Moodle is open source software that Williston College is currently using as a platform for its online courses. The NDUS is adopting Moodle as a platform and is in the process of reviewing an RFP for a third-party support and development contract. That means that the state is paying for the platform and support costs. The platform we use now for online courses is WebCT/Blackboard. A move to the Moodle platform would be done only after a complete analysis of the software. This analysis would involve feedback from faculty, students and staff. Our first priority is to continue to serve students with a quality online delivery product.

Question 7: Do the students attending MSU in Bismarck attend our graduation ceremonies or in Bismarck?

Answer: Students who complete their degree via any CEL outreach program are invited to the Minot graduation. Last year we hosted a reception for graduates in Bismarck. The reception was well attended and we will do the same this year.