Online Course – Scholar

What are the science prerequisites for this course?

There are no pre-prerequisites for this course. While having Earth Science or AP Environmental Science would be beneficial for your understanding of some course content and completion of scenario-based problems, it is not a requirement.


How much time will I be spending each week on the course?

This answer truly depends on how much time you want to invest in the course. Past participants reported spending an average of 10-12 hours on the assignments within each course module. Think of these modules as units of study. Module assignments are due every two weeks by Sunday night at 11:55 PM (EST). The more you want to read and explore links and resources provided within the course as a supplement to the basic course content, the more time you will spend on the course every two weeks.


Can I get high school credit for my participation in the course?

This truly depends on the decision of your school/division. You must contact TNCC for an official transcript to provide confirmation of course completion. Receiving college credit is more beneficial to your future college career as it shows commitment to a path of study as a high school student.


Can I receive college credit for this course?

Upon successfully completing the VESSS online course, you can receive four transferable college credits in GOL 105  from Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC). It is up to the college that you attend how they will accept the credits. If you attend the Summer Academy and successfully complete the course, you will receive one college credit in GOL 199, Independent Research, from TNCC.  Once in college, you may need to take the course syllabus to the registrar’s office to receive credit.


What is the online teacher-to-student ratio?

Approximately 30-35 students are assigned to each Master Teacher’s group for the online course.


What software should I use to submit my assignments?

Students chosen for the program will be provided a log-in to the VESSS Online Course “Moodle” site. Through this system, students can access the lesson material and submit assignments in the file formats requested in each assignment.


The following formats are required for various assignments throughout the Online Course: Microsoft Word document (*.doc or *.docx), Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (*.xls or *.xlsx), JPEG Image (*.jpg or *.jpeg). Submissions in Adobe PDF file format are required in place of Documents or Images, but not for spreadsheets.


How long will it take to receive feedback and grades once my work is submitted?

Master Teachers are required to provide feedback and evaluation within seven days of the assignments being submitted. Note – if you submit work late, please do not expect that you will have the work graded within one week. You must send your Master Teacher an email alerting them of late submissions!


Is late work accepted, or can I resubmit assignments?

Late work is accepted with a grade penalty. The course requirements and syllabus detail the number of points deducted per day. Caution: if you are more than two modules behind (that is one month!), those late assignments will not be accepted, and you will receive “zeroes.”


For instance, if Module 7 assignments are due on a Sunday and you’ve only submitted assignments for Modules 1 through 3, then you MAY NOT submit module 4 assignments. However, you can still submit Modules 5 and 6 along with Module 7 assignments by the same Sunday.


Past a certain point, the number of points deducted for the assignment for each day late would result in a negative grade!


You may resubmit assignments based on the feedback you are given by the Master Teacher. You must communicate with your Master Teacher to agree on a date by which you will resubmit the assignment. After that date, if you have not resubmitted, then you will receive the original grade. If you resubmit, the two grades will be averaged together for your final grade on the assignment. Grades will not be replaced.


When are my online assignments due?

Assignments should be turned in (in sequential order) as you complete them. Assignments within each module are due every two weeks by the designated Sunday by 11:55 PM (EST). The first module is due in December. The module due dates are under Important Dates. Students who do not successfully complete all assignments will not be invited to participate in the Summer Academy. Your assignments and the final project will be graded by Master Teachers, who will send you their evaluation and comments via e-mail through the content management system, Moodle.


What is the withdrawal/drop policy for the VESSS course? – Dual Enrollment Drop Dates


January 12, 2023, is the Dual Enrollment Drop Date. After this date, you will receive an “F” on your transcript.


You may request to be dropped from the course by contacting Kari Espada in writing ( You will be withdrawn from the course if you have not submitted work for three consecutive modules and/or have not logged in to the website in over 30 days unless you have prior approval from the VESSS Program Manager and the online Master Teacher. Failure to withdraw from the course will reflect an “F” on your VPCC transcript.


If you are not current in your assignments, you will be dropped from the credit-earning portion of the course. You can remain in the course for no credit and still be considered for the Summer Academy.