How You'll Learn

How You'll Learn

Porter and Chester Institute has made going back to school easier with the introduction of hybrid and fully online programs. Since the start of COVID-19 in 2020, PCI has had to adapt to the changing world while still keeping quality education a priority. That’s why, even still, PCI is incorporating virtual aspects to the programs that are currently offered.

The blended learning format is a combination of online lectures and didactic activities that go hand-in-hand with on-campus, hand-on labs and/or off campus learning experiences. With the online learning portion, a majority of the instruction is asynchronous, meaning a student is able to complete the assigned work on their own schedule (within a certain time frame). Assignments and homework are accessible 24 hours a day/seven days per week through the online Learning Management System.

Blended Programs

There are blended programs that fit into the schedule of attending on-campus labs for two days a week. These are:

  • Electrical Technology (CT only)
  • Low Voltage Technology
  • Plumbing

There are blended programs that offer scheduling options of attending online classes for two days a week and on-campus labs for two days a week, OR attending online classes for one day a week and on-campus labs for three days a week. These are:

  • Dental Assisting
  • Medical Assisting

The blended program that requires three days a week on campus is:

  • Automotive Technology

Online Programs

These programs are offered with lecture and simulated labs fully online:

  • Computer Aided Drafting and Design
  • Computer and Network Technology

On-Ground Programs

There are three programs that are offered completely on campus. They are:

  • Career Industrial, Commercial, and Residential Electrician (MA only)
  • Practical Nursing
  • Welding

In addition, fully on-campus training is projected* to be available as an option for select programs at select locations. These are:

  • Automotive Technology at Brockton MA, Waterbury CT and Worcester MA
  • Career Industrial, Commercial and Residential Electrician at Brockton MA, Chicopee MA and Worcester MA
  • Computer Aided Drafting and Design at Hamden CT and Waterbury CT
  • Computer and Network Technology at Waterbury CT and Chicopee MA
  • Electrical Technology at Hamden CT, New London CT and Waterbury CT
  • HVACR at Hamden CT, Waterbury CT, Chicopee MA and Worcester MA
  • Low Voltage Technology at Hamden CT
  • Plumbing at Hamden CT

*On-ground availability is anticipated for classes beginning 8/12/24. Should on-ground classes not be available, students could begin the program following the hybrid or online delivery schedule.

When programs are offered in a blended format, there are different things that prospective students should know. Since a majority of the online portion is asynchronous, assignments can be completed in your own time, within a certain boundary. There are still due dates, tests, and other time-sensitive projects, but one of the plus sides of learning this way is that you can mostly do those assignments in a time that best fits with your schedule.

However, there is still an expectation of how much time you should be spending on your assignments and on-campus learning. Although each program is unique, the general time set aside for academic activities within your program should average between 25-30 hours per week. Note that that time frame includes both the on-campus labs as well as the online asynchronous portion. Students are also able to choose either days or evenings for their on-campus labs.

When getting ready for the on-ground portion of your program, it’s important to note that different programs will result in different types of ways classes are given. For example, some programs may require an off-site, in-person clinical and/or an on-campus labs and simulations.

Jumping into earning a higher-education diploma online is a big step, and PCI is here to answer questions individuals may have about the change from completely in-person to blended on fully online learning. To see a full list of the programs we offer, check out our programs page. Or, if you’re ready to get started, visit our online application portal.