Online instructors and professors are required to hold two online office hours per week, and are also available via email and have to respond within 24 hours on weekdays and 48 hours on weekends if a student emails them. Also, weekly discussion boards are a part of each class curriculum, with a specific discussion topic required weekly for student/peers and student/instructor interaction in order to learn and grow within the student’s field. In addition, scheduled weekly seminar sessions are held online once a week in each class with audio chat capabilities available for most classes which is highly advised to attend but is not mandatory . Completing option 2, or a pre-expected and additional assignment, is left an option if life makes it impossible for the student to attend the scheduled weekly seminar session. Major core classes have required weekly exams which must be completed within the week in order to receive credit for taking the class, along with required weekly assignments that must be completed. Research papers are expected along with other types of writing papers and all students are fully required and expected to cite using APA format in order to avoid plagiarism.
Many courses also have a complete series of pre-recorded video sessions which are designed to replace the course textbook as the primary source of information. The video sessions are also available in text form, as notes and transcripts are posted for students to download and study. Within this context, the course text becomes a supplemental source of information to back up and reinforce what the students learn during the video session.
Students are given open access to a course lounge where they can meet informally and form study groups. In addition, Kaplan offers the use of a course chatroom, where help sessions are held prior to exams and special projects. Students may also use the course chatroom for group sessions on their own.
All seminars and group study sessions are archived so that students who cannot attend may review them in text form later.
Three former academic officers at Kaplan University have filed a wide-ranging federal lawsuit the university of defrauding the U.S. government out of more than $4 billion. The lawsuit alleges that Kaplan enrolled unqualified students, inflated their grades so they could stay enrolled, and falsified documents to obtain accreditation for certain academic programs. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida in March 2008.