Distance Learning


An online course does not have scheduled on campus class meetings. It is an integrated learning program entirely accessed via a computer with an internet connection, except for proctored exams, if required. Southeastern Community College uses RAMS ONLINE as its course management system.


A blended (hybrid) course is taught partly in the classroom and partly online. Blended courses allow the student to benefit from both methods of teaching: online and face-to-face. Students will be required to attend a certain number of on-campus class meetings. In addition, some of the required meetings will be held online. The online portion of the class allows students to attend “”virtual”” classrooms via the Internet.

Privacy Notice

“Title 5, section 55200. Definition and Application. Distance education means instruction in which the instructor and student are separated by distance and interact through the assistance of communication technology. All distance education is subject to the general requirements of this chapter as well as the specific requirements of this article. In addition, instruction provided as distance education is subject to the requirements that may be imposed by the American with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. §12100 et seq.) and section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.”

Title 5 is clear that online classes must fulfill the requirements of the Americans with Disability Act and section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (often abbreviated as “ADA” and “508”). These requirements deal with things such as media, format, alternate descriptions, color, tables, html code, and image maps. Southeastern Community College is committed to making a quality education possible for all students. Students should understand that it is their responsibility to self-identify their need(s) for accommodation and that they must provide current, comprehensive diagnosis of a specific disability or medical condition from a qualified professional in order to receive services. Documentation must include specific recommendations for accommodation(s). Documentation should be provided in a timely manner prior to or early in the semester so that the requested accommodation can be considered and, if warranted, arranged.

For additional information on specific services and accommodations, students may contact Accessibility Services at 910.788.6327, [email protected], or in Student Services in A-124. Please visit Accessibility Services for more details.

It is important for you as a student to recognize that the online classroom is, in fact, a classroom, and certain behaviors are expected when you communicate with both your peers and your instructors. These guidelines for online behavior and interaction are known as “netiquette”.

The purpose of the following information is to help you be a more effective and successful student when communicating via email, chat rooms, or on discussion boards as a part of your online learning activities at Southeastern Community College.

General Guidelines

When communicating online, you should always:

  • Treat your instructor(s) with respect, even in email, or in any other online communication.
  • Always use your professors’ proper title: Dr. or Prof., or if you’re in doubt use Mr. or Ms.
  • Unless specifically invited, don’t refer to them by the first name. Some will be OK called “Bob” and others will expect to be “Mr. Smith”.
  • Use clear and concise language. Be respectful of readers’ time and attention.
  • Remember that all college-level communication should have correct spelling and grammar. Also, avoid using slang and text language.
  • Avoid using the caps lock feature AS IT CAN BE INTERPRETED AS YELLING.
  • Be cautious when using humor or sarcasm as the tone is sometimes lost in an email or discussion post and your message might be taken literally or offensively.
  • Be careful sharing personal information online (both yours and others).

Discussion Board “Netiquette” and Guidelines

When posting on the Discussion Board in your online class, you should:

  • Make posts that are on-topic and within the scope of the course material. If necessary, re-read the instructions from your instructor.
  • Take your posts seriously and review and edit your posts before sending. (Would you put sloppy writing with poor grammar in a formal research paper?)
  • Be as brief as possible while still making a thorough comment.
  • Always give proper credit when referencing or quoting another source.
  • Be sure to read all messages in a thread before replying.
  • Don’t repeat someone else’s post without adding something of your own to it.
  • Avoid short, generic replies such as, “I agree.” You should include why you agree or add to the previous point. The point of a discussion in an online course is to help you and your other students learn through an in-depth consideration of important topics.
  • Always be respectful of others’ opinions even when they differ from your own. When you disagree with someone, you should express your differing opinion in a respectful, non-critical way.
  • Be open-minded as that is one of the major points of participating in an open classroom discussion.

Email Netiquette

When you send an email to your instructor, teaching assistant, or classmates, you should:

  • Use a clear and descriptive subject line as a way to give them a reason to open your email.
  • Include a polite salutation.
  • Identify yourself, your course, and section number.
  • Use formal language (no text slang), and be concise.
  • Sign your message with your name and return e-mail address. Make sure they know how to contact you.
  • If you are sending an email while upset or angry, think about not sending it until you’ve cooled off. A 24-hour resting period is often a good idea.

Online learning refers to the growing trend towards computer-based interactive studies. Most or all elements of online learning take place in a virtual alternative to the conventional brick and mortar classroom. As the second decade plants us firmly in the twenty-first century, distance education has evolved as a widely accepted path to a traditional education.

Flexibility and economic value are likely the two most noteworthy attributes of a reputable distance learning program. According to the New York Times, in 2008, 4.6 million, or about one in four college students were taking at least one online class. An appropriately created and delivered virtual course takes full advantage of best practices for group interaction, creative engagement, and beneficial instructor feedback. Studies have shown that in many cases, virtual learning experiences meet or exceed expectations.

Potential online learners should carefully explore the basic requirements of our courses by way of course preview, investigate the online interface in the student orientation portal, and review computer software needs and technical requirements prior to enrolling in a course or program. As beneficial as the virtual classroom can be, it is not an ideal situation for everyone.

Rams Online Technical Assistance

Password reset: If you are experiencing login issues, first try resetting your password by visiting our password portal. As an extra layer of protection, student passwords expire every 180 days. Faculty and staff passwords expire every 90 days. Most login issues are due to passwords expiring. By resetting your password using the reset portal, you may be able to resolve your login issues without having to wait for assistance.

Technical Assistance for Students, Faculty, and Staff

A team of learning management system (LMS) experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide technical assistance to students, faculty, and staff.

CALL 1-888-297-0131 FOR ASSISTANCE.

  • Press 1 for student assistance and follow the prompts.
  • Press 2 for faculty assistance and follow the prompts.

Chat Option

Visit help.edusupportcenter.com/shplite/sccnc/home and click on Chat. The SmartView Chat window will be displayed. Enter your question in the What would you like to chat about? Box. In the What may I help you with? box, choose LMS Support or Technical Support. Click the Start Chat button. The Welcome Chat window will be displayed with your question. An LMS expert will reply with a response. Please include your SCC username, SCC student id# and a contact telephone number, and email to verify your identity. If you have specific questions about a course or assignment, please contact the instructor of the course.

All inquiries will be processed within 48 to 72 business hours.

Student Services and Distance Education Students

Distance education students have access to the same student services as traditional students do.

Distance education students also have access to tutoring services.

Distance education students who have questions about available services should contact the Help Line at 910-788-6358, or email questions or concerns to [email protected].

Online learning is such a valuable tool, offering flexibility for those juggling work, family, and school.

Tips for Taking Online Classes

  1. Exercise discipline. Recognize that online courses are “real” courses. Show up to class on time and treat the class like a face-to-face course.
  2. Structure your time. Flexibility is an advantage with online classes, but it requires time management.
    • Add major assignments to your calendar and schedule out enough time to complete your projects on schedule.
    • Make sure to keep your calendar updated – use one that you check regularly. Make a practice of checking first thing every morning so you don’t miss important assignments and deadlines.
    • If you have flexibility with class scheduling, do your classes during a time when you will be most receptive. Mornings can be great before the distractions of the day set in.
  3. Set goals and be accountable. It’s great to have an instructor that sends reminders, but it’s best not to be fully dependent on that – there’s a lot going on around us right now, set your own reminders. Find a classmate and become digital accountability partner.
  4. Manage your environment. If your family congregates in the living room, set up a spot in your bedroom, free from distractions, noise, and clutter. Turn off your cell phone and stay away from social media during your school time.
  5. Take advantage of resources. Facetime or Skype with classmates to keep that class connection intact and work collectively on projects, if possible.
  6. Communicate. Your instructor is ready to help you. If you are struggling with a lecture, don’t hesitate to contact your instructor so they can better assist.
    • Online students have access to the same services as on-campus students such as the registrar’s office, career services, academic advisors, library, and financial aid.

Computer/Software Requirements

Below are the recommended minimum computer requirements in order to take online courses at Southeastern Community College. Contact your instructor for additional course requirements.

Personal Computers

  • Windows XP or later operating system
  • Pentium III processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • Storage – 40 GB or more
  • 56 kbps modem – Broadband preferred
  • Sound Card/CD-ROM/printer Speakers/headset/microphone
  • JavaScript and cookies must be enabled
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 browser or later
  • Moxilla Firefox 2.0 browser or later
  • Microsoft Office – Recommended
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader


  • MacOs X 10.4.x or later
  • Power PC processor
  • 1 GB MB of Ram
  • Storage – 80 GB or more
  • 56 kbps modem/ broadband preferred
  • Sound Card/CD-ROM/printer Speakers/headset/microphone
  • Safari 2.x or Firefox 2.x or higher
  • Microsoft Office – Recommended
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader