Frequently Asked Questions about Distance Training

The following are the most often asked questions we receive about our distance training at The Railway Educational Bureau (The REB). If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, please contact our student services representatives for assistance (1-800-228-9670 or studentservices@sb-reb.com). We are always there to help you.

How does distance training work?

Tests and learning material are sent directly to the student or to the student’s supervisor to be distributed to the student. As a student you have a variety of ways in which to complete your coursework with us.

You may use one of the following three methods to complete your tests:

  1. Mail your answer sheet to the REB.
  2. Email your answer sheet as an attachment to studentservices@sb-reb.com. Please note we accept Microsoft Word (.doc) and PDF (.pdf) files.
  3. Take your tests online in our Test Center.

By Mail: You may mail your answers, in the form of an answer sheet, to the REB. Our instructors grade the answer sheets. The graded answer sheets are then returned to the student.

By Email: You may email your answer sheet to us as an attachment. Please use Microsoft Word (.doc) or PDF (.pdf) files.

Be sure to remember when filling out your answer sheet, either by hand or on the computer, to include all the information required on regularly mailed answer sheets, as stated in your Student Information Handbook.

Online: Answering your test questions online may be the best method yet. Just log into our secure Test Center to access the tests. Every time you complete a test, you’ll see your score immediately, along with appropriate feedback. You will be able to review your answers up to 60 days after taking your test. If you need a permanent record of your test, you may print your answers and feedback for your records.

What are company-sponsored programs and how do they work?

Company-sponsored programs allow companies with 10 or more active students to enjoy certain added benefits. Under this program, your company will receive:

  • Student service accessibility via phone and email
  • A discount on lesson processing cost
  • A customized monthly report mailed to you detailing student progress
  • Twenty-four hour access to an online report detailing student progress
  • Ability to establish the number of lessons you want sent to your employees each month
  • Ability to establish the grading scale for your employees
  • Ability to establish the number of courses or lessons you want to have in your training program

Your company will be invoiced after the training material has been sent to the students. Please contact our student services for more information on starting a company-sponsored training program.

Do I have to prepay if I am not in a company-sponsored program?

Yes. We do not invoice individual students at this time. For your convenience, we accept Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express credit cards as well as personal checks.

Does the REB require students to complete a certain number of tests each month?

No, the REB does not mandate how many lessons you need to complete every month. Students typically complete two or three lessons a month. The exact number of lessons completed is contingent upon the length of the training program and the student’s motivation. Company-sponsored programs may have different requirements.

Can I use REB materials in a classroom?

Yes. While most clients use our courses entirely on the basis of distance training, many combine our courses with their classroom work. To use our material in your classroom you must first purchase the materials for each person being trained. We’ll supply your organization with the same materials as would be distributed to our distance training students. Your instructor can simply collect all of the students’ answer sheets and return them to us at one time for grading, or the students may take their tests on our website with their username and password (supplied by The REB).

Our courses can be used to:

  • Conduct an instructor-led training session
  • Bring employees up to a sufficient level of understanding before having them work with a group in a classroom setting
  • Reinforce classroom training

Please note we do not distribute the answer keys to any of our tests. This helps ensure the integrity of our courses for everyone in the rail industry.

The REB does not provide materials for you to photocopy and distribute at your discretion. We expend consderable resources into developing our training programs and expect our clients to abide by copyright laws.

If you, as a student, attend any classes where you suspect our training materials are used illegally please notify us.

How do I find out my grades?

Student grades are available at all times for students. Grades may be accessed by:

  • Checking online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Checking the top of student answer sheets when they are returned
  • Calling our student services department during regular office hours (Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, CST) at 1-800-228-9670
  • Emailing our student services department: studentservices@sb-reb.com

As a manager of a company-sponsored program, how can I check on the progress of my employees?

If your employees are taking our courses, you may check their progress anytime. You may also call a student service representative during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, CST). You will also receive monthly progress reports in the mail and you will have the ability to view a password-protected progress report online. Your student service representative will provide the details you need when you establish a company-sponsored program.

What educational background is needed to enroll?

We have students with many different levels of education and backgrounds. Our course material is generally written for people with reading skills equivalent to a high school level. However, due to the technical nature of the subject matter, some material is easier to understand than others.

What is considered a passing grade?

The REB’s standard passing grade is 75 percent with 100 percent being the highest grade attainable. A grade of 74 percent or lower is considered nonpassing. Standards for passing grades may vary for students enrolled in a company-sponsored program.

What is an incomplete grade?

An incomplete grade is given when an answer sheet is mailed or emailed to us with questions left unanswered. Incomplete answer sheets are automatically considered nonpassing and will be returned for you to rework.

May I rework a failed test?

Yes. If you score a nonpassing grade, you will have to take the test over (rework) until a passing grade is achieved. If a passing grade is not achieved, that test will not be counted toward either a Certificate of Achievement or a Diploma.

If I already received a passing grade on a test, may I resubmit it for a better grade?

No. If you scored a passing grade on a test, please do not resubmit this test for a higher grade. Your original grade on the test will not be changed.

May I purchase the textbooks without enrolling in a course?

Most of our material is available and can be purchased separately. To see what we have available, please visit our bookstore at www.transalert.com.

Can I take courses if I live outside the United States or Canada?

Yes, you can take our courses if you are located outside the United States or Canada. Please call us at 402-346-4300 or email us for information regarding course prices.

Is The Railway Educational Bureau accredited?

The Railway Educational Bureau is authorized to operate and accredited by the Nebraska
Commissioner of Education under the provisions of Sections 85-1601 to 85-1658 Nebraska Statutes.

Does The REB issue Diplomas?

The REB offers both Certificates of Achievement and Diplomas to students who qualify. A Certificate of Achievement requires the successful completion of 12 or more tests. The certificate may be based on a course with at least 12 tests or a combination of courses with 12 or more tests. Diplomas will be issued upon successful completion of a combination of 225 or more tests.

Do you have an enrollment fee?

Yes. The enrollment fee is $15.00. This is a one-time fee.

The price of the enrollment fee covers the costs for:

  • Establishing you as a student
  • Issuing one Certificate of Achievement or a Diploma
  • Issuing one transcript of grades

Additional fees may apply for issuing multiple copies of Certificates of Achievement,Diplomas, or transcripts.

What is included in the price of each course?

The price for a course covers the following costs:

  • Supplying tests and text material
  • Grading of test
  • Recordkeeping of grades
  • Shipping/handling of tests and study material

Why isn’t there a charge for shipping and handling on your courses?

For your convenience, the cost of processing your tests includes shipping and handling charges. When buying a book to be used for reference, shipping and handling charges will be added. For students located outside the United States. Please call us at 402-346-4300 or email us for information regarding course prices.

How are student complaints addressed?

The Railway Educational Bureau values our students' opinions and concerns. Complaints may be addressed to the Director, The Railway Educational Bureau, 1809 Capitol Ave., Omaha, Nebraska 68102 in writing or by phone at 1-800-228-9670. Furthermore, the student may contact the Program Director of Private Postsecondary Career Schools at the Nebraska Department of Education.