Distance education is designed to give people options. It makes learning attainable for people from all walks of life. A great alternative to traditional, campus-based classes, distance education allows students to study on a more flexible basis and alleviates barriers such as work schedules, transportation, and/or childcare.

Online classes are classes that you can take from your home. Web-based lessons via zoom are live with an instructor and are recommended for distance education learning. You will access the class using an internet connection and a device. A device can be a smartphone, a laptop, a home computer, or a tablet. You will also be given a seat on the online curriculum to study outside of class time to accelerate the learning process. You will complete most of the work independently with the support of your teacher.

Do not have a computer or internet? SWCC AEL technology lending program is as easy as 1, 2, 3

  1. Enroll in the SWCC AEL program at the closest class site to you
  2. Complete the SWCC AEL Needs Assessment survey
  3. Sign a contract and pick up your device from your online instructor

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People learn in different ways.  What works well for one person may not work well for someone else.  Below are Questions and Answers about online classes and expectations for the program

Online classes are classes that you can take from your home.  You access the class information using an internet connection and a device.  A device can be a smartphone, a laptop, a home computer, or a tablet.  You will complete most of the work independently with the support of your teacher. Web-based lessons via zoom are live with an instructor and are recommended.   

With online classes, you should plan to complete 1-2 online live classes every week if available.  You will also need to complete 4-6 hours of pre-work or homework every week.  Expect to communicate with your online teacher by email, phone, or Zoom meeting at least once every week to ask questions and to receive help with any problems that you have.

No childcare?  No problem.  No transportation?  No problem. Difficult work schedule?  No problem. You have the convenience of studying at home and can complete most work on your own time schedule. 

No.  In many ways, online classes are more difficult.  Online classes require a large amount of self-motivation and a strong dedication to learning.  Online classes have strict requirements.  If the requirements are not followed, students may be dropped from the class.

Internet access, a device such as a smartphone, computer, or tablet, a set study schedule of 2-3 times each week, a quiet, distraction-free area to study, an online curriculum account, and the Zoom application.  Each student will take a tech survey.  Depending on survey results, you may be required to participate in a computer literacy class prior to starting your online study. 

  • The teacher will assign work for you to complete in an online program.
  • The teacher will have 1-2 live online classes every week. 
  • The teacher will communicate with you each week by phone, email, or by Zoom to check on your progress and to see if you are having any questions or problems.
  • The teacher will check your work and provide feedback. 
  • The teacher will schedule appointments for progress assessments. 
  • The student will complete pre-work or homework assignments in a timely manner. 
  • The student will attend 1-2 live online classes every week if available. 
  • The student will communicate with the teacher on a weekly basis. 
  • The student will ask questions and share problems with the teacher. 
  • The student will complete progress assessments as scheduled.

Students who do not complete weekly assignments, do not attend or view at least one online class every week, who do not communicate with the teacher, and those who do not complete face-to-face progress assessments may have their account deactivated, the lending computer locked, and may be dropped from the online class.

Northstar is a computer-based program that shows students basic computer functions and tools to be successful in online classes.   A zoom youtube video will also be provided to navigate your way around the web-based platform.    Additional student support will be available as needed. 

Yes, you can participate in both online and face to face classes as a hybrid offering.  

What if I don’t like the online class – will I be able to switch to the face-to-face class?

If online classes are not a good fit for you, a face-to-face class is available.  Please understand that if there is not an opening for a face-to-face class, you may be placed on a waiting list until an opening becomes available.

There is a lot to consider when you think about participating in an online class.  It is important to take a serious look at your personal schedule, situation, responsibilities, and to think carefully about your level of dedication.  Online classes are not easy.  Online classes require a serious commitment to completing coursework and a dedication to communicating with your teacher.  

If you are interested in the Distance Education options and are needing to check out technology equipment, please complete the following assessment (link coming soon).