Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is the EKU Online™ Partially Online Paralegal program 100 percent online or partially online?

The EKU Online™ Partially Online Paralegal program is a partially online program that requires a minimum of 10 semester credit hours in the traditional on-campus format. Students participate in two weeks of on-campus instruction in Richmond, Kentucky --  which can be completed concurrently or in two separate Summer terms.

While on campus, students interact with fellow classmates and faculty and gain skills that are essential to their success. Course subject matter covers legal research and writing, legal ethics, strategies for a successful paralegal job search, and additional legal subject matter. (Some degree paths also require an internship at the location of the student’s choice.)


Will I be eligible to sit for the Certified Kentucky Paralegal Exam with this degree?

Yes. Because EKU’s paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association, those who successfully complete the program are qualified to sit for the Certified Kentucky Paralegal Exam. Details about the exam can be found at http://www.kypa.org/Certified-Ky-Paralegal.


I've noticed this paralegal program is ABA-approved. What does that mean?

EKU's paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association and meets the guidelines set forth by the ABA. The American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Paralegals states that its purpose in approving programs is "to foster high quality paralegal education and training and the development of educational standards." Each ABA-approved paralegal program goes through a rigorous approval process and is subject to ongoing review by ABA representatives, including periodic on-site visits and review of detailed reports submitted by the program.  

Students who graduate from an ABA-approved course of paralegal studies are automatically qualified to sit for the Certified Kentucky Paralegal Exam.


What is the on-campus experience that is required at the end of the paralegal program?

Students complete two weeks of on-campus sessions over the course of one or two Summer terms on EKU’s Richmond campus. These experiences make up 10 hours of traditional classroom credit.

While on campus you will take two upper-level courses. One focuses on research and writing. The other covers legal ethics and strategies for a successful paralegal job search. Being on campus will allow you to strengthen your relationships with instructors and classmates face-to-face. Gain valuable insight on networking and tips for your job search as you prepare to enter the workforce with an advanced degree.


Is a degree that includes online coursework different from a traditional degree?

The only difference between this degree and a traditional degree is that the majority of the coursework is completed online. Upon graduation, you will hold a degree from Eastern Kentucky University, and you will have all the rights and privileges of traditional EKU alumni.


Will I ever be required to come to campus?

The EKU Online™: Partially Online Paralegal degree program requires two weeks of intensive on-campus instruction. Students have the option of completing the requirements consecutively or over two separate Summer terms. The sessions will allow students to meet fellow classmates, connect with faculty and gain skills essential to their paralegal careers. Topics will include writing and research, tips for a successful job search and additional legal subject matter. Outside of this 10-hour requirement, online students are not required to visit the EKU campus. However, they are always welcome to visit the Richmond campus or any of EKU’s satellite campuses in Kentucky at any time.


What is an online course like?

EKU uses The Blackboard Learning System, which provides a framework for instructors to organize course material and interact with students through discussion boards, chat rooms and online assignments. You will log in to this system to access your courses. Some professors also produce mini-lectures on video and incorporate instructional videos in their course design. Others rely more on PowerPoint presentations, discussion boards and reading assignments. Most use a combination of strategies and techniques to ensure for a high level of interaction and instructor feedback.

Every course will be presented in Blackboard, which means you will always work within a standardized course layout and navigation system. This will allow you to devote your time to the coursework rather than the technology. Click here to take a virtual tour of Blackboard and explore the resources available. 


What type of technology will I need to participate?

EKU uses the Blackboard Learning System, an internet-based course management system that provides a website for every class. Blackboard lets students and instructors participate in class activities online. The system offers online storage for course materials, discussion boards, virtual chat, online quizzes, grades and more.

You will need a computer with high bandwidth Internet access (not a dial-up connection), a Flash player and speakers. It is recommended that you use Mozilla Firefox as your primary browser when working with the system. Some courses will have additional requirements. The EKU tech support team is always available to answer any technical questions you may have.


Can I transfer in to the program?

Eastern Kentucky University awards transfer credit for courses completed at regionally accredited colleges and universities. No limit exists on the number of credits that may be transferred from other institutions, however; students must earn a minimum of 32 credit hours through EKU to be awarded a bachelor's degree from the institution. Additionally, EKU can only award transfer credit for paralegal coursework earned from an ABA-approved paralegal program. The EKU Student Outreach and Transition Office has online resources that can help you determine which credits may transfer. Use their Transfer Equivalency Course Search to look for matches among the courses we currently have on file. If your specific course is not on the list, it is still eligible for review. Please contact an enrollment advisor for more information about transferring credit.


How much does the program cost?

Click here for current tuition rates. Textbooks, lab fees and technology fees are not included and will vary by course.


Is financial aid available?

Students pursuing most of their coursework online may also qualify for federal financial aid (loans and grants), private loans, employer tuition reimbursement and military benefits. The EKU Financial Aid Office can assist you with questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and federal loans. The EKU Scholarship Office offers a variety of awards and has additional information that can help you pay for college.


What is the difference between regional and national accreditation?

Regional accreditation is the highest level of accreditation available. Eastern Kentucky University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS*). This regional accrediting body is recognized by both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA**) and the United States Department of Education (USDE). Students can be confident that credits earned at one regionally accredited school will transfer to other regionally accredited universities. This is especially important if you plan on transferring or continuing your education.

The six regional accrediting agencies are:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

In addition to accreditation, it is important to look for other credentials that may set a program apart. For example, the EKU Online™ paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association and meets the guidelines as set forth by the ABA, which means students can sit for the certified paralegal exam upon graduation.


What are the enrollment requirements for my program?

To apply for undergraduate enrollment, students must meet one of four criteria:

  • An A.A.S., A.S. or A.A. degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • An ACT score of 20+ in reading, 18+ in English and 19+ in math
  • An SAT combined score of 870+ (combining verbal and math)
  • 24 hours of transfer credits from a regionally accredited institution, including an equivalent to an EKU 100-level or higher English and math course

The certificate in paralegal science is a post-baccalaureate option, which means that applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.


When are the online classes taught?

EKU  offers classes on your schedule.  With relatively few exceptions, you will log in at your convenience and will not be expected to be at your computer at a certain time each day. Students can work at a pace that works for them, as long as homework assignments and exams are completed by the instructors’ deadlines.


Can I take one or two courses online to satisfy a requirement without enrolling in a degree program?

EKU does offer some online courses that can be taken independently from this program. For more information, visit www.eku.edu/onlinelearning/courses.


If I am enrolled in the on-campus paralegal program at EKU, how do I switch to the partially online program?

The EKU paralegal program is offered in two formats. You can enroll in the 100 percent on-campus program or in our online program that includes two weeks of on-campus instruction. If you wish to switch, please meet with the program director to design a curriculum that ensures that you will complete 10 hours of traditional in classroom or ITV coursework.   

There are some differences between the online and on-campus programs. Online courses are offered in two 8-week terms in the fall and spring semesters and two 6-week terms in the summer.  This accelerated schedule allows you to focus on two classes per term and still carry a full-time load over the course of the semester. In addition, EKU does not offer developmental courses online.  If you have developmental requirements you have not yet fulfilled, you must complete those on campus. Contact Enrollment Advisor Lakin Sea for assistance in switching to the online program.  


What will my course schedule be like?

Unlike on-campus courses, which run for 16-weeks, our online courses are offered at an accelerated rate, allowing you to achieve your goals faster. The majority of students take two courses each term. There are six terms per year, and you can enroll at any time. Classes run from August to October, October to December, January to March and March to May. There are also two summer sessions from May to June and June to July. Some general education courses will be 16 weeks long. Those courses run from August to December and from January to May and varying summer terms.


 
           
     
 

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