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Southwest offers a wide array of college credit courses through its Distance Education Program. The Distance Education Program uses the Internet, interactive teleconferencing and videotapes/DVDs. These courses provide alternative instructional modes to the traditional classroom setting and schedules. For students who are independent learners, Distance Education courses are ideal. Working adults, employees who travel, persons with disabilities, those with long commutes, schedule conflicts or other barriers to college attendance are a few of the many who can benefit from Distance Education. Distance Education courses require that students have access to a personal computer equipped for the Internet, the skills to use it, and a reliable Internet Server Provider (ISP). Southwest offers online degrees and more than 150 online courses and telecourses. Information on specific online degrees can be found at deit.southwest.tn.edu/de/degrees/. Always check the course syllabus for specific information.
There are three types of Distance Education courses.
In an online course, students access course material online and follow instructions provided by an instructor. An online course is conducted via the Internet with no on campus instruction and no on-campus classroom time, but may utilize proctored testing, requiring students to travel to campus. Courses are structured so that students work independently but have significant interaction with the instructor and other students. Most courses have set schedules and due dates. Online courses are identified by a section beginning with ‘L’ (Example: ACAD1100-L01).
A split course is a blend of face-to-face instruction with online learning. These courses are known as split, hybrid or blended courses due to the nature of the learning environment. In a split course, a significant part of the course learning (50 percent) is online and as a result, the amount of classroom time is reduced (50 percent). This allows coursework to be scheduled flexibly, promotes independent learning and decreases time spent commuting. Split courses are identified by a section that includes ‘H’ (Example: MGMT1000-1H1).
A Web-assisted course meets in a traditional classroom setting but course assignments outside of class may require use of the Internet. Class time is supplemented with online activities and information. Always check the course syllabus for specific information.
Prior to registering for a Distance Education course
- Complete the PAWS Student Orientation at https://deit.southwest.tn.edu/orientation/. The Orientation provides important information and will help determine if you have the equipment and skills necessary to be successful in a Distance Education course.
- Read the syllabus for a course description and instructor contact information. Syllabi are linked to the course section column of each list of courses at https://deit.southwest.tn.edu/.
After registering for a Distance Education course
- View the course description and syllabus located on the Distance Education Web site by selecting the Course Offerings.
- From the Courses link, select the type of course (Online, Split/Hybrid, or Web-assisted) for the current semester. A list of courses will be displayed with links to the course syllabus, the instructor’s contact information as well as access to the course management system log in.
- Contact each of your instructors for additional information.
- Southwest provides a personal email account for students, and you are expected to use that account when corresponding with the College.
Regents Online Degree Program
Southwest is a participant in the statewide Regents Online Degree Program (RODP) and offers degrees and courses online to any interested student with reliable access to the Internet. Southwest offers courses leading to the following degrees and certificate program:
- Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education
- Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology
- Associate of Applied Science in Professional Studies Concentration: Information Technology
- Associate of Applied Science in Web Technology
- Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
- Associate of Arts in General Studies (University Parallel)
- Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
- Associate of Science in General Studies (University Parallel)
- Associate of Science in General Studies: Elective Concentration for: Teacher Aides/Paraprofessionals Preparation (University Parallel) Designed for teacher aides interested in completing their A.S. online.
- Web Page Authoring Technical Certificate
These associate degrees are totally transferable into the RODP Bachelor’s degrees offered by the six TBR universities. Additional information including a list of courses and corresponding syllabi, system requirements, fees, an online learning orientation, test proctoring, and other information may be found on the Web page for this online learning program: http://rodp.org. Students interested in RODP courses at Southwest should go to the Distance Education website, and select “RODP” from the menu. There is an additional fee associated with RODP courses. The Southwest RODP Campus Contact can assist you with questions about RODP courses.
Interactive classroom technology can connect the campus ITV classrooms with similar facilities at other TBR schools, the UT system, community rooms in Tennessee, and business and industry sites. The rooms are available for credit courses, non-credit courses, seminars, workshops, and video conferences. In addition, the College provides greater access to students at centers and sites by partnering lower enrollment sections of a course with larger enrollment sections at a campus or other center. Students at both sites can see and hear each other as well as the instructor, submit assignments via fax, and see the whiteboard.