Distance learning courses are provided to accommodate the needs of students who cannot attend regular classes on campus due to distance or time constraints. RCC values the opportunities for access that it provides for its students, and it views distance education as an important component of educational access. In accomplishing its mission to provide access, RCC now offers degree and certificate programs both completely and partially through distance learning modalities. A current list is available on the RCC website under the Distance Learning section.
Distance learning courses have the same content, grading system, and credit value as on-campus courses. The tuition is also the same. Learning support services are available to students in distance learning courses; moreover, special accommodations are available, such as access to library materials by phone, physical mail, or online.
The College offers distance learning courses in a variety of disciplines, and many classroom-based courses incorporate distance learning technology to enhance student learning. Some courses are delivered entirely through distance learning technology. The courses fall into the following categories:
Asynchronous Courses/Online Courses
These courses are designed to increase access to educational opportunities for students who have work schedules, family responsibilities, or other demands that make it difficult to attend traditional on-campus classes. All distance learning courses offered at RCC require students to be independent learners with proficient reading, writing, and research skills, and to be able to commit to a consistent schedule that may include at least 8-10 hours per week of study for each course. Distance Learning requires a minimum of two proctored activities on-campus or off-campus for each course. Students must also have had experience in using the internet, and sending and receiving e-mail (including sending attachments) prior to enrolling in a distance learning course. Most communication in a distance learning class will be through e-mail and using RCC’s online course management system, Blackboard. Students taking distance learning classes should have access to a computer a minimum of three times a week. Although owning a computer is recommended, students are provided access to the Success Labs computers on each campus. Each course is developed independently, following quality assurance guidelines.
Synchronous Courses/Interactive Video
Synchronous Courses are provided to students through Interactive Video technology, which uses live two-way video connections to send and receive courses and programs between RCC Campuses and other educational institutions. Although students attend interactive video classes on campus in the Interactive Video classrooms, this program allows RCC to offer courses and programs not normally available at RCC.
Hybrid courses are a blend of both the traditional and distance learning modes of delivery, which means that required on-campus meetings and distance learning technologies are included in each hybrid course offered. Each course is developed independently, following quality assurance guidelines.
Shared Services Online Courses
Shared Services courses are RCC courses offered in partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC). These courses allow students to earn RCC credit while taking an online course with a NVCC instructor, as well as use the RCC testing centers to take proctored tests. Students who take Shared Service courses will have access to NVCC resources as well as RCC resources. Students interested in taking Shared Service courses can email SharedServices@rappahannock.edu.
A complete listing of Distance Learning classes is found in the RCC Schedule of Classes each semester. Additional information required for successful completion of distance learning courses can be found on the RCC website.