updated: 12-28-06


Online Paralegal Certificate

In the Summer of 2002, Mission College Paralegal Studies program inaugurated its entirely online/internet paralegal certificate. It is one of the few "entirely online paralegal certificates" (12 law classes - 36 units) in the California Coummunity College system. California law requires paralegals receive a minimum of 21 semester units of training in the law.

The legal internet content for this program was developed over a 5 year period in the "classroom" by Prof. David Jordan, Esq., the current director of the paralegal program. The online certificate was built with "care and attention to detail". The Paralegal Program at Mission College has a rich history. We started graduating paralegals in 1987, and have had only two directors in our 18 years.

The "webpage" used by both on campus and online students has "evolved" through a process of constant improvements in response to the needs of our paralegal students, and the growing implementation of "internet technology" in the field of law. Read what our students say about the program, and see our list of recent graduates, and a little about them.

How the Online Program Works

The content covered in our online program is the "exact same" assignments, quizzes, essays, discussions, etc." as our on campus classes. In fact all of the content for the online program was developed through our interactive, "face to face" on campus classes. The internet program is simply "another:" or "different" delivery format for the paralegal certificate. Thus the online student can be assured that the online program has the same "academic rigour and integrity" as the on campus program. The student logs onto the "online classroom" which is available 24/7 (anytime/anyplace), and completes assignments, quizzes, and project under "strict deadlines or "due dates"). Student progress is monitored through the use of "student outcomes and assessment", and the use of "grading rubrics".

Classes run during the Fall and Spring, and there is an accelerated Summer Session. Each class takes 15 weeks and is 3 units credit (except summer and winter intersessions, which are accelerated and compress 15 weeks of work into 5 weeks. Classes cost $20 per unit (see College enrollment fees) or $60 a class, for a total cost of $720 to complete the 12 classes for the paralegal certificate, with books at about $250-300. (for a total grand cost of approximately $1000 to be paid, one class at a time as you take each class.

The student pays "as they go" for each class, and not "all at once" or "in one lump sum". Thus the price is very reasonable and affordable. Our program is accredited through the L.A. Community College Board of Governors, and our school is accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (see accreditation and statutory compliance statement). We believe our Paralegal Program is excellent. See what our students say about the program, and how unique are our paralegal students.

Recently, our paralegal program has adopted the Etudes ("Easy to Use Distance Education Software"), developed out of Foothill Community College, located 40 miles south of San Franciso, in the "silicon/dot.com valley". Etudes has joined the "Sakai open source project". The Sakai Project is a collaborative effort among leading higher education institutions to develop and share open source software. The participating institutions, University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT and Stanford University, will make available a complete course management system (CMS) that incorporates the best features of the participants' existing CMS systems and experiences. Etudes will introduce its version of the Sakai CMS in the Summer of 2005. (click here for FAQ and tutorial on Etudes).

Etudes learning management system, is a "state of the art" program which provides the following features to our "online/internet" students: a consistent interface across classes, easy to use navigation tools, easy to learn e-mail, discussion, etc., help desk, one interface for all course-related communication and activities, ability to access multimedia materials, easy to use bulletin boards - threaded discussion, real time discussion forums (chat), access to students own grades, and feedback from instructor on each project, or work submitted by the student, automated password reset features, group pages where students can work collaboratively, and pages which are accessible to students with special needs using assistive technology.

Below is a list of the required 12 classes that form our Online/On Campus Paralegal Certificate. Students are able to take classes, either entirely on campus, entirely online, or a combination of the two delivery formats. Scheduling conflicts, and unavailability of classes which caused students to take 3 years or more to complete the paralegal program, no longer exist. Our students can complete the same "rigorous academic program" in less than two years. Our program, which numbered 150,  now exceeds more than 650 enrolled students, and is growing in "leaps and bounds" with the advent of "internet technology" .

Paralegal Curriculum

Law 1 Business Law I 3
Law 2 Business Law II 3
Law 10 Intro to Legal Assisting I 3
Law 11 Intro to Legal Assisting II 3
Law 12 Tort Law & Claims Investigation 3
Law 13 Wills, Trusts & Probate Administration 3
Law 16 Civil and Criminal Evidence 3
Law 17 Legal Writing 3
Law 18 Marriage and Family Law 3
Law 19 Property and Creditor Rights 3
Law 20 Basic Probate Procedure 3
Law 34 Legal Research Lab 3


  Course Descriptions

 FAQ about the Paralegal Certificate

  Current Classes