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Southwest offers a wide array of college credit courses through its Distance Education courses. Distance Education courses use the Internet, or are supported by any technological means such as the Internet, computers, interactive video, or any combination of present and future technologies.
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 students to have access to a reliable Internet connection, a computer or laptop, and the skills to use the devices. Southwest offers online degrees, technical certificates and more than 150 online courses. Information on specific online degrees can be found at https://online.southwest.tn.edu/studentInfo.html. 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). Before signing up for an online course run, the ‘System Check’ located on the PAWS login page (https://elearn.southwest.tn.edu/).
A hybrid course is a blend of face-to-face instruction with online learning. A course that utilizes the learning management system to reduce the number or time of traditional, on-campus meetings. No more than 50% of the meeting time can take place in a virtual setting. Hybrid courses carefully combine synchronous and asynchronous learning to carefully integrate online components with face-to-face interactions. This allows coursework to be scheduled flexibly, promotes independent learning and decreases time spent commuting. Southwest hybrid course are identified by a section that includes “H” (Example: ACCT-1010-1H1).
Web-assisted courses are “on-campus” courses that may utilize an online component for handouts, discussion, e-mail, quizzes, etc., and require use of the Internet. Class time is supplemented with online activities and information. Always check the course syllabus for specific information. Not all “on-campus” courses will have a Web-assisted component, and there are no section identifiers. Check with the instructor for more details and information.
If your onlie course has a section beginning with “R”, it is a TN eCampus course. Course sections are desgnated with an “R” (Example: GEOG-2010-R50). See the TN eCampus information below.
Southwest is a participant in the TN eCampus partnership among all Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions and the six locally governed state universities. All participating institutions are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools - Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Institutions share resources and personnel needed to deliver quality online instruction. This allows Southwest students access to a greater number and variety of courses. When you enroll in TN eCampus courses, you remain a Southwest student and your courses will appear on your academic transcript as Southwest courses. TN eCampus courses are entirely online and transferable among all the participating institutions. TN eCampus offers degrees and courses online to any interested student with reliable access to the Internet. Southwest offers TN eCampus online courses leading to the following degrees:
Associate of Applied Science
- TN eCampus Early Childhood Iducation, A.A.S.
- TN eCampus Business, A.A.S.
- TN eCampus Criminal Justice, A.A.S.
Associate of Arts
- TN eCampus University Parallel, General Studies, A.A.
Associate of Science
- TN eCampus University Parallel, General Studies, A.S.
These associate degrees are transferable into the TN eCampus Bachelor’s degrees offered by the six state 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: https://tnecampus.org/ for prospective students or https://tnecampus.info/ for current students. There is an additional fee associated with TN eCampus courses that is not covered by TN Promise, TN Reconnect, etc. Fees and schedules vary, so be sure to check current information on the Southwest website. The Southwest TN eCampus Contact/Student Liaison can assist you with questions about TN eCampus courses (TNeCampus@southwest.tn.edu).
A Flex (Faster Learning Experience) course starts later in the semester than a traditional course. Flex courses are offered in traditional, online and hybrid formats.