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Online EMT Continuing Education Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

You are enrolled in an online course. How do you get started?

Log into Sakai, and choose the noncredit students link to look up your default username. If it's the first time you've used Blackboard, take the Sakai Tour.

Once your registration form with your required birth date, email address, current mailing address, and payment for your online course is received, the Durham Tech registration system is updated. If these required materials are received at least five business days before the course start date, your first and last name is transferred to the online Blackboard system. An online Blackboard user name and password is created for you, and you are added to your Blackboard course roster.

What are the computer requirements for participating in online courses?

There are prerequisites for taking online courses. Online students must be proficient computer users, particularly in keyboarding, email management, word processing, and web browser functions. If you need assistance with any of your computer skills, please take the necessary Continuing Education computer course before starting this program. Durham Tech offers computer classes in keyboarding, PC fundamentals, word processing, and the Internet. In addition, you must also have good grammar skills. If you need a grammar refresher, please take the Durham Tech online Ed2go course, “Grammar Refresher” at

Each online course has prerequisites such specific EMS or healthcare credential to ensure you have an adequate understanding medical knowledge. In the past, a permission request form was available that reminded students of the recommended prerequisites for each online course. It is now your responsibility to closely read the course descriptions and register only for the courses for which you meet the prerequisites.

You must have easy access to a personal computer, either at your home, office, or school that has one of the latest versions of the Microsoft Internet Explorer (6 or higher) or Firefox (2 or higher) browsers installed. If you use dial-up service, a modem speed of 56K or higher is strongly recommended. You will need an active email account that you check regularly as well as a CD-ROM drive

Course accessibility

When can you access your online course?

If your registration form and payment for the course is received at least five business days before the course starts, you are added to the Blackboard course roster and are able to access the online course on the course start date. If you return your required registration materials late, Durham Tech cannot guarantee  your request will be processed, or there may be a delay in generating your Blackboard user name and password.

Is there a certain time of day or day of the week that you should sign on to participate in your online course?

No. You can access the course any time of the day or day of the week, during the duration of the course. Your instructor will provide information concerning lecture, assignment, and quiz or exam availability and deadlines. Students are strongly recommended to follow any weekly modules as suggested by the instructor at the beginning of the course.

Online Course Questions

If you have a question about the course content, please email your instructor. If you have a technical issue send an email to If your question is program specific, please contact the EMS program assistant at

Online Course Success

How do you know if you’ll succeed in an online course?

When you are in a traditional classroom, you have face-to-face interaction with the instructor and other students. If you have a question, you have the ability to have it answered immediately. However, in a virtual environment, you will have to utilize email to communicate with your instructor. What makes a good distance learner? AA student who is highly motivated and can work independently does well in an online course. Online students must be proficient computer users, particularly in keyboarding, word processing, email managment, and web browser functions.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you like to take the initiative, ask questions, and join in discussions?
  • Do you like to complete your work ahead of time?
  • Are you task-oriented, self-motivated, and organized?
  • Do you enjoy reading and figuring things out?
  • Do you enjoy experimenting with new technology?
  • Do you enjoy helping others to learn?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you are well-suited for online learning.

How do you participate in an online course? What do your need to do?

Online learning is designed to be interactive both with the other students in the course and with the instructor. Online courses use a discussion forum, which enables students to have virtual conversations. Students do not have to be online at the same time, but they visit the forum on a regular basis several times each week. When you visit the forum on a regular basis several times each week. When you visit the forum, you are expected to read the postings of your classmates and post follow-up comment to their postings. The other way the course is interactive is through email. You will be receiving email from your instructor and from your classmates. Thus, it's very important that you check your email on a daily basis to see if there is any response needed on your part.

If you still have questions, please call 919-536-7238, ext. 4205 or email

Registration Fees, Exemptions, and Other Costs

Open Registration

Once the course schedule is available online, you may register at any time prior to the start of the course.

When are registration fees due?

All fees are due at the time of registration. For most courses, registration should be completed no later than one week prior to the course start date.

For provider level courses, all requirements must be met, including submission of required documentation, for students to be considered permanently enrolled in the course. Students who have not submitted all documentation may be taken out of the course and refunded if requirements are not met by the course start date. This also happens if a student who has all the required documentation is attempting to register prior to the course date. Students may register until all permanent seats are filled. Courses are canceled if less than eight students are registered one week prior to the course start date.

For specialty courses, registration must be turned in 72 business hours before the start of the course. Specialty courses with less than eight preregistered students are subject to cancellation and refund.

Which fees are exempt?

The tuition fee is exempt if a student is qualified. Other fees, if applicable, are one-time, non-refundable fees paid by all.

Exemption from the FISDAP fee can be proven by having an ALS FISDAP account with Durham Tech from a previous course.

Who is exempt from registration fees?

The Introduction to Emergency Medical Services course is free for you if you are unemployed, working part time, have been notified of a lay-off, or are underemployed. Underemployed persons are working part-time and/or are eligible for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit.  You will be asked to complete a fee waiver form the first day of class. Note that the required $30 fee for the WorkKeys assessments is not covered by HRD fee waiver.

For all other EMT courses, North Carolina Public Safety Workers as defined by the N.C. General Statues are exempt from the registration fee. Proof of affiliation status must be submitted with the registration form. All others must pay the registration fee.

A letter from the student’s affiliated agency must be provided at the time of registration for any course. For courses that continue more than one semester (e.g. Paramedic), a letter must be provided at the beginning of each semester.

If an agency is paying for your course and books, what do you need to bring to registration?

Bring two copies of the letter authorizing payment to register. One copy is for registration and one copy is for the bookstore if the agency is paying for your books. You do not need to bring any money to registration if you are being sponsored by an agency.