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First Step Option FAQs

Take a look at the FAQs below, and let us know if you still have questions! Just call us at 1-800-722-4636 or email We'd love to help.

Who is eligible for the First Step Option?

Only new incoming students are eligible for the First Step Option program.

Do you have to be a high school graduate to take part in the First Step Option?

Yes, students must be high school graduates.

Is the First Step Option available for international students?

Yes, the program is available for international students as long as they meet admission requirements.

What is the First Step Option?

It’s an opportunity for new incoming students to earn college credit during their gap year. You can choose from over 35 courses, taking up to 11 credits for 2 consecutive semesters.

What courses are offered?

Bible, English, history, math, and science courses that meet liberal arts requirements are offered. In addition, some elective courses are available.

Will financial aid be available for First Step students?

During your time as a First Step student, you will not be able to take advantage of financial aid options. However, when you transition to on-campus learning, financial aid options will be re-opened for you to apply, including the Fourth Year Tuition-Free program.

How much does it cost?

Courses cost $413.25 per credit hour. View a current list of tuition and fees and see how our payment plan works to make First Step Option courses even more affordable.

How does testing work?

All tests are completed online through Canvas, PCC’s online learning management system, and may be proctored by a remote online proctor or approved in-person proctor. There is no charge to use remote proctoring.

What are the computer requirements?

If you will be using online proctoring, you need to take your tests and exams using a PC or Mac desktop computer, laptop, iPad, or Chromebook. A webcam and microphone are required. Cell phones cannot be used.

Do I need a proctor?

Yes, a proctor is required for online classes. Online proctoring is our preferred proctoring method for tests and exams. However, if you choose to use a live proctor, there is a $10 proctor verification fee, and the proctor must be approved. The proctor must be a member of the local church staff or the staff of a Christian school. Relatives, peers, or other students enrolled in online courses are not allowed to be proctors. Your proctor should be available throughout the term to proctor your tests, and you will need to plan your testing times around your proctor’s schedule.

When are First Step Option courses available?

This first year only, you can take online courses during the fall and spring semesters. See this upcoming semester’s dates and deadlines.

What if I need help deciding which courses to take?

An academic advisor would be happy to help you choose courses that will best fit your course of study.

Is there a limit to how many credits I can take?

Yes, you can take up to 11 credits per semester.

Is PCC accredited?

Yes, Pensacola Christian College is accredited by TRACS. Students planning to transfer credits to another institution are responsible to confirm whether courses meet the institutional and specific degree requirements of the transfer institution.

What can I expect when taking online courses?

You’ll access your courses online through Canvas, an online learning management system where you can watch course videos, turn in assignments, take quizzes and tests, and communicate with other students, your teacher, and the Online Learning Office. Online courses have the same lectures and course requirements as on-campus college courses. For a 3-credit course, plan to spend about 9 hours a week watching course lectures, studying, and completing course assignments. Plan 6 hours weekly for 2-credit courses and 12 hours weekly for 4-credit courses.

What if I decide to drop a course?

You’ll need to notify us of your request in writing by emailing or by letter sent to the following address:

Pensacola Christian College
P.O. Box 18000
Pensacola, FL 32523-9160