Skip Navigation

Howard Community College - Continuing Education

<< To HCC Main SiteContact Us | Maps & Directions 

Continuing Education (Noncredit)

Business and Workforce Development


Registration and Payment

Student Services

General Information


Custom Class

CustomClass Information and Registration Form


Would you like to take a credit (degree) course without having to take exams, receive grades, meet the course prerequisites, and go through the credit admissions process?  Then our CustomClass option is for you! It allows you to take a Credit course as a Noncredit course, so that you can enjoy pure learning for its own sake--risk free, hassle free, and stress free.

CustomClass is also an option for those of you who dream of going to college but are afraid that college-level work might be too difficult for you. It allows you to "get your feet wet" and build confidence by experiencing what a college-level course is like.

CustomClass is also an option for those of you who want or need to take a degree-credit course that you fear is going to be extremely difficult for you. Taking the class first as a CustomClass allows you to preview the course, see what it's like, try your hand, and build confidence. Then the following semester, you can take the class again as a regular Credit degree student....and succeed!

1. What is CustomClass?
It's the noncredit way to take most of the credit courses listed in the credit schedule of classes.  CustomClass students sit in the same class as credit students; however, they are enrolled as noncredit Continuing Education students.  The CustomClass student receives the same instruction but does not get a grade/transcript. Using this option, you do not need to meet prerequisites or go through the credit-student admissions process.

2. How does it differ from auditing a class?

  • The audit student MUST meet prerequisites, take placement tests, fill out the credit application, and pay the consolidated fee.  Out-of-county and out-of-state audit students must pay the credit out-of-county and out-of-state tuition rates.
  • CustomClass students DO NOT have to fill out the credit application form (instead they fill out the CustomClass registration form), take placement tests, or fulfill prerequisites. 

3. What are the requirements for taking a CustomClass?
Basically, you must be 16 or older and register for the course. The CustomClass option is designed for the student who is seeking knowledge and not a degree, grade, or credit.  The assumption is that the student knows his/her capability and takes the course for which he/she is qualified. You do not have to fill out the credit application form, take placement tests, or fulfill prerequisites. You can take up to the equivalent of 8 credits each term. You won't get college credit, but in many cases you can earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and/or certificates.

4. Does a CustomClass student receive a grade?
No.  The CustomClass student is a noncredit/continuing education student and does not receive a grade.  Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and a continuing education certificate are available for these students who meet the requirements (see the next paragraph). 

5. How does a CustomClass student get CEUs or a continuing education certificate?
You must notify the instructor during the first week of class.  The instructor will then alert the Division of Continuing Education staff, who will prepare the certificate and return it to the instructor for distribution at the end of the class (or mail it at the student's request).  A certificate or CEUs can be awarded only for complete class attendance.

6. Does the CustomClass student complete assignments or take tests?
It is entirely up to you.  You can decide whether or not to take tests or complete assignments.  If you choose to take the tests or do the assignments, the instructor will grade your projects/tests but not assign an overall grade for the course.

7. Can a CustomClass student switch to a regular credit student once the course has started and ask for a grade?
No.  Once you have selected the CustomClass option and register, you cannot later change your course status to credit or audit.  

8. How does someone register for a CustomClass?
You can take up to the equivalent of 8 credits each term. Use the special CustomClass registration form linked here and also at the top and bottom of this page. (It can also be found in print in the Schedule of Credit Classes and at the end of the Noncredit Schedule of Classes, both of which are mailed out regularly to Howard County residents.) Please complete the form and either mail it in (with a check for the appropriate tuition and fees) to Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044-3197, attention LockBox Cashier RCF-220, or fax it (with credit card information) to the Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 443-518-4333.  Fax and P.O. Box numbers are on the form.  In-person registration is done by the HCC registration staff during normal business hours.  The Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development does NOT process walk-in registration.  CustomClass registration is done on a first-come, first-served basis and all students, whether credit or noncredit, are guaranteed the same access.  Phone and web registration ARE NOT available for CustomClass at this time.

9. Will CustomClass students get a confirmation of registration?
Confirmation notifications should be sent a week before classes start.  If you register late, you will not receive a written confirmation.  If you register late and want to know whether or not you are in a class, you may call 443-518-4659.  A continuing education staff member will call students who are trying to register for full classes if they register by fax or mail.  If you register in person, you will be told immediately if you are in a class.  The division offices will call students whose classes have been canceled; division offices then call or email in the Division of Continuing Education (ext. 4659).

10. Are ALL credit classes available for the CustomClass option?
All but the following exceptions: ARTT-221 (Art Museum Field Trips), classes in nursing (NURS), cardiovascular technology (CARD), radiologic technology (RADT), emergency medical services (EMSP), physical therapist assistant (PTAP), and Police Academy. Other new health care programs may not be eligible. All other classes listed in the credit schedule may be taken as CustomClasses.

11. How much does it cost for tuition and fees?
CustomClass students who live in Howard County pay the regular in-county credit tuition and any fees listed for the course.  Out-of-county students pay an additional $10 out-of-county fee per course, and out-of-state students pay an additional $20 out-of-state fee per course.  For those students who pay tuition, a $40 registration fee is already included in the price of each course and does not have to be paid separately.  CustomClass students do not pay the consolidated fee. 

12. How much do Maryland seniors (60 and older) and those eligible for tuition waiver pay for a CustomClass course?
As tuition is waived for this group of students, the students only pay the course fees, the $40 per course registration fee, and, if they're out-of-county, the $10 per course out-of-county fee.  They do not pay the consolidated fee.  For seniors, in some instances, it is more economical to take classes listed in this schedule for credit or audit, as all CE/noncredit students automatically pay a $40 registration fee per course as part of their tuition.

13. Is there a payment plan for CustomClass students?
No. Students must pay in full at the time of registration.

14. Are refunds available for CustomClass students?
During 15-week terms (fall and spring):
Students are eligible for a graduated tuition refund: 100 percent of tuition, the consolidated fee, and course fees by the end of the first week; 50 percent of tuition and consolidated fee only by the end of the second week. During the third week, students may still drop a class but are not eligible for refunds.

During summer, winter or other variable time sessions (late start, fast track, express classes, etc.):
Students are eligible for graduated refunds during the first few days of a section. During this period, students are eligible for a refund of either 100 percent of all tuition, the consolidated fee, and course fees or 50 percent of tuition and consolidated fee only. After the posted refund period for these sections, students are not eligible for refunds.

15. What textbooks do CustomClass students use?
CustomClass students use the same textbooks and materials as do the regular credit students.  Books are listed under the course title and section of the credit course. The bookstore is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Friday, from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.  Students may also order and pay for their books online.

16. Will CustomClass students need a parking decal?
No.  You may park in any unrestricted lot.  To avoid being ticketed, however, do not park in the lots designated for faculty and staff or along any of the red curbs.

17. What HCC services are available to CustomClass students?

  • If you have paid more than $125 in tuition and fees during the semester, you are eligible for a student I.D. card by paying a $5 fee to the cashier (cashiering hours: Monday through Thursday, 8:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m.).  You are then issued a photo I.D. card by the Office of Security Services and must call 443-518-5555 to schedule ID photos.  The ID card allows you to use the computer lab at no cost and the college pool, tennis courts, and weight rooms during the relevant semester.
  • All students with a valid student ID may check out materials from the HCC Library free of charge.  CustomClass students without student IDs should request a receipt from the Cashier's Office and present that to the circulations desk in the library to obtain a temporary library card, which allows them to check out materials.
  • Students who have paid less than $125 in tuition and fees may purchase a computer lab day pass for $20 a day, or a semester pass for $125, for either the fall or spring semester at the Cashier's Office.  Any Howard County resident may purchase a six-month Athletic Facilities Use Pass for $130 (or $30/month, $7/day) at the Cashier's Office.

18. What are the hours of operation for these services?
In the winter, spring, and fall terms, the HCC Library is open Monday–Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  The Computer Lab is open Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00–11:00 p.m.  In the summer, those offices have limited hours: call the Welcome Center at 443-518-4856. For the athletic facilities hours of operation, call 443-518-4804.

19. Is CustomClass available year-round?
Yes.  CustomClass is available during all credit semesters.

20. Is there a waitlist for full courses?
Not at present. 

21. Where can students get more CustomClass information?
Call 443-518-4659 for general questions or 443-518-4825 for CustomClass registration assistance. For a copy of the current Credit Schedule of Classes, call 443-518-4856.

For more information call Arnette Haywood at 443-518-4659, or email her at

Privacy & Security Policy | Site Map | How are we doing?Advanced Search | Staff Directory | HCC

© 2012 Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway • Columbia, Maryland 21044
Tel. 443-518-1000 Welcome Center
Tel. 443-518-1200 Switchboard | TTY users call via MD Relay 7-1-1
Howard Community College is an Equal Opportunity Institution