About ICN and Distance Learning

About ICN and Distance Learning

What is the Indiana College Network (ICN)?

The Indiana College Network (ICN) provides a single starting point for learners interested in locating credit and noncredit courses and programs available at a distance from Indiana colleges, universities, and educational partners. ICN staff can answer your questions about distance education, help you register for classes, and provide information about careers and financial aid. They can also connect you with the right on-campus offices to help you apply for admission or plan a program of study. And if you need access to equipment or the Internet to take your classes, ICN staff can also guide you to a learning center near you.

ICN also offers a searchable, online catalog of credit and noncredit college, and professional development courses; an online catalog of degree and certificate programs available at a distance; and learner support and assistance through an online inquiry system and toll-free hotline.

Members include Independent Colleges of Indiana, Indiana University, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Purdue University, University of Southern Indiana, and Vincennes University.

What is distance learning?

A learning activity which occurs when students and instructors are separated by geographic distance or by time, often supported by technology such as computers or videotape.

How do I actually take distance classes?

ICN courses are offered through a variety of delivery methods, including videotapes, videoconferencing, the Internet, CD-ROMS/DVDs, correspondence, or a combination of two or more of these methods (not all courses are offered in all delivery methods).

What should I expect when taking distance education classes?

You should expect equivalent content and opportunity for learning as students who take the course on a college or university campus. Distance education courses are not easy, fast-paced replacements for regular on-campus classes. In fact, distance education requires self-motivation and a serious approach to learning because much of the work is done individually, without the in-person instructor guidance of traditional learning environments. However, most instructors are available to answer your questions by phone, email, or on-campus meetings, or videoconferences.

Can I take distance education courses without ICN?

Yes. Through ICN, however, you may be able to take a course from another participating ICN institution without jeopardizing your financial aid and have the grade and course appear on your Home Institution transcript as resident credit.

How do I begin?

If you are new to distance education, begin by reviewing “New to College” on this Web site. If you have questions, contact the Indiana College Network at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1.800.ICN.8899 (1.800.426.8899). ICN staff can answer your questions about distance education, help you register for classes, and provide information about careers and financial aid. They can also help you select a Home Institution (the university or college in Indiana that will process your enrollment, maintain your records, and grant your degree if you are degree-seeking), and connect you with the right on-campus offices to help you plan a program of study.

What classes are offered?

ICN lists classes offered by accredited participating institutions. Classes range from credit and noncredit college courses to high school courses and professional development opportunities. Many are program specific and lead to completion of a certificate or degree program available at a distance. Search the ICN Course Catalog.

What Indiana colleges and universities are currently offering courses through ICN?

Indiana colleges and universities are currently offering courses through ICN:

  • Indiana University (all campuses)
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (all campuses)
  • Purdue University (all campuses)
  • Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
  • Taylor University Center for Lifelong Learning
  • University of Indianapolis
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • Vincennes University (all campuses)


Do courses transfer from one institution to another?

Yes. Before registering for a course at another institution, ask your academic advisor to sign the ICN Interinstitutional Course Form to ensure that a course from another institution will transfer to your Home Institution and apply towards your specific degree requirements. Keep the signed document safely with other important records.

How does an Internet class work?

Courses delivered over the Internet generally include material to read online, exercises to complete online with interactive forms, discussion lists in which you exchange ideas with the professor and other students, and other types of instructional activities.

How does an Interactive class work?

IHETS Interactive is a Web-based application that supports live video and audio as well as other types of interaction and collaboration. Students watch and listen to the instructor using a standard Windows PC and interact with the instructor and one another using the application’s audio and text chat features. IHETS Interactive classes can be taken at any location with a networked PC meeting the minimum technical requirements, including from home or work. Students who do not have regular access to a networked computer can participate from an authorized ICN learning center.-- To preview an Interactive course, see Preview Sample Classes.-->

Can I select the delivery method I want for my courses?

A delivery method is how a course is "packaged" by the Originating Institution. Courses may be delivered to the student by Internet, DVD, CD-ROM, IHETS Interactive, print/correspondence, or a combination of these methods. When browsing the course catalog, you will notice that each course will already have a defined delivery method. Some courses have the option of several delivery methods while others may have only one.

Can I take courses through ICN if I am not a student at any of the ICN institutions?

Yes. You may take courses from any ICN institution as a nondegree student, however, you will be responsible for transferring the courses to the institution you currently attend. To apply, complete the ICN Common Nondegree Application. If you are an out-of-state student, out-of-state fees may apply. Be sure to check with your current institution for policies and procedures related to transferring in courses.

How do I order my books and class materials?

Books and class materials are ordered online or by telephone from the Originating Institution before class begins. See Bookstores or contact the ICN campus coordinator at the Originating Institution for assistance.

Can I get a degree from ICN?

No, the Indiana College Network is not a degree-granting institution. Your degree will be granted by your Home Institution.

Are the degree programs accredited?

All ICN participating institutions are accredited and responsible for the quality of the courses and programs they develop.

Who will issue my diploma and transcripts?

Your diploma and transcript will be issued by your Home Institution. To request a copy, contact the registrar at your Home Institution or the institution you previously attended.

How do I know which classes will count towards my degree?

Prior to beginning a degree program, an academic advisor at your Home Institution will provide you with a plan of study, which details the courses you will need to take to complete your program. Before registering each semester, it is very important that you get the approval of an academic advisor; otherwise, you could register for a course that does not apply to your program.

Can I apply for admission online?

Yes. ICN provides links to all of our participating institution’s online admission forms. An admission fee may be required, as will transcripts from other colleges and universities you may have attended.

Can I register anytime?

Courses designated as “Open Enrollment” permit you to register at any time and generally allow six months to one year for completion. To locate Open Enrollment courses, select Open Enrollment under “Semester” in the ICN Course Catalog search.

How do I register?

The procedure for registering for distance education courses varies by student type—degree-seeking or nondegree-seeking and undergraduate or graduate. It also depends upon whether the course is offered on a semester basis or through open enrollment. To determine how you register for courses, see Registration.

How do I know if I am registered?

Once your preregistration form has been processed, the ICN Campus Coordinator at your Home Institution will contact you to approve or deny your registration. The Originating Institution will contact you once you have been placed in the course.

I submitted an ICN Preregistration Form, but I have not heard anything from my Home or Originating Institutions. What do I do next?

After your form is processed by ICN (usually within 24 hours), it is forwarded to the ICN campus coordinator at your Home Institution. If you are concerned about your registration, contact the ICN campus coordinator at your Home Institution.

Why can’t I register for certain courses through ICN?

Most graduate and independent study courses are not eligible for registration through the ICN. To register for these courses, contact the institution directly. You will be required to pay the fees of the Originating Institution and to transfer credits earned back to your Home Institution. See Registration for additional information.

Can I get financial aid from ICN?

No. You should apply for financial assistance through the institution that you select as your Home Institution.

How do I contact an instructor?

On the first day of class, your instructor will provide you with his/her contact information. This information may also be found in the ICN Course Catalog or by contacting the ICN campus coordinator at the Originating Institution.

What are your tuition costs?

The Indiana College Network is not a degree-granting university. Tuition and fees are established by your Home Institution.

What resources are available to help me succeed?

ICN provides an online inquiry system and toll-free Hotline for learner support, as well as a wealth of resources on this Web site. There are also more than 50 learning centers in communities throughout Indiana to help distance learners complete their assignments and gain access to computers, email, the Internet, library services, and fax machines, as well as learning center coordinators who have experience helping distant students conquer their challenges.

What does it take to be a successful distant student?

Successful distance learners are self-disciplined, self-motivated, accountable, and have good time-management skills. Before registering as a distance learner, you may want to take one the following quizzes.

How will I turn in my homework and take tests?

Distance learners generally use computers to communicate with their instructors. Homework will either be emailed or submitted through the Originating Institution’s course management system. If you need to have a test proctored (, learning centers are your best resource.

What if I need a tutor?

ICN provides links to tutors and tutoring services, where you can connect with a tutor in your specific subject area. See Academic Support under ICN Services & Resources.

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What is a learning center? Do I need one to complete my courses?

Learning centers provide access to the technology distance learners need to complete their assignments and communicate with their instructors. You do not need to go to a learning center unless you need personal assistance, test proctoring, or access to equipment such as a videoconferencing unit; however, these facilities are available if you need them.