If you are considering taking a distance learning course please read the following frequently asked questions. After you have read the information and decide to take either an Internet, Hybrid, or Cyber course, use this page to ensure that your online experience is satisfying and enjoyable.
How do I know if distance learning is for me?
If you have never taken a distance learning course and you are unsure if distance learning is a good fit for you, take the Online Readiness Self-Assessment below to help you determine if you have the necessary skills to be a successful distance learner. Here are some important qualities:
- Must be self-reliant and self-motivated
- Must have good self-discipline
- Must have good, basic computer skills
- The ability to read carefully and to follow written instructions
Click here to take the Online Readiness Self-Assessment.
****Note: Please be honest with yourself when taking these assessments, there are meant to help you gauge your readiness to take distance learning courses. You determine how successful you will be in a distance learning course!
What are some necessary computer operation skills for the distance learner?
- Start up and shut down your computer system and accessories
- Identify and use icons, windows and menus
- Point, click, double-click and click and drag with a mouse or touchpad
- Use drop-down menus
- Select, open, move and close a window
- Scroll up/down and left/right
- Start an application and create a document
- Name, save, retrieve and edit a document
- Save a document using the save and save as command
- Use printing options
- Attach a file to an email
What are some necessary Internet skills for the distance learner?
- Use email
- Connect to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider
- Attach/open a file in an email
- Access and use resources on the World Wide Web
- Use browser software
- Navigate to a specific Web site
- Navigate to a search engine site and search for specific items or terms
- The ability to access the internet on a daily basis*
*Students who are enrolled in distance learning courses will be required to access and use the college's learning management system (Moodle) and communicate through the college's email system (WCC Gmail).
What type of computer equipment do I need for distance learning?
The following are minimum system requirements necessary to take a distance learning course:
- Operating systems: Windows 7 or later OS version
- Ram: A minimum of 4GB is recommended (if you are interested in any graphics courses, then it is recommended that you have a minimum of 8GB)
- Processor: Pentium i3 processor or higher
- Internet browser: Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Google Chrome (latest version) or Firefox 36 with the following plug-ins: Flash, Shockwave, Java
- Internet connection
- Anti-virus software: Have Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware programs installed on the computer(s) that you use for your Internet courses that has been configured to scan e-mails (both sending and receiving), and scan any fixed or removable storage device(s) on your computer.
- Office Software - one of the following must be installed:
- Microsoft Office 2010 Standard Edition
- Microsoft Office 2010 Student Edition
- Microsoft Office 2010 Teacher Edition
- Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Edition
- Microsoft Office 2013 Standard Edition
- Microsoft Office 2013 Student Edition
- Microsoft Office 2013 Teacher Edition
- Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Edition
*** Note: Other software may be required depending on the content of the course. See the course description in the catalog for additional requirements per individual classes. Other requirements may be detailed in the course syllabus.
Do I need to be admitted to WCC to take a distance learning course?
In order to take a distance learning course, you must complete the following application procedure:
- Submit a Wilkes Community College Admissions Application by completing the Online Admissions Application Form or by visiting either a Wilkes, Ashe, or Alleghany campus and completing the form there.
- Request that a copy of the high school transcript (form available here) be mailed to WCC Office of Student Services at P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, N.C., 28697. Students currently in high school, non-degree seeking students, and applicants who have already earned an A.A., A.S., or Baccalaureate degree are exempt from this requirement.
- Request transcript(s) (form available here) for all completed college work at other schools be sent to the Office of Student Services at the same address as above, if applicable.
- Participate in the college's Placement Testing program, if required. Contact the Office of Student Services at 336-838-6135 for information on how to do this.
If you apply for admission online using the Online Admission Application Form, the Admissions office will process your application and contact you concerning its status. This communication will tell you, among other things, whether or not you need to take placement tests and whether or not transcripts are needed before your admission to WCC is complete. Click here for WCC Admissions
How do I pay for distance learning courses?
Payment of tuition and required fees is required to be considered enrolled. Options of payment are as follows:
- Cash, check, or money order
- Credit Card - VISA or MasterCard
- Financial Aid - Financial aid approved prior to registration from the financial aid office.
- E-Cashier - Students may wire payment to the college from their personal bank account for a nominal fee. For more information contact the Business Office or visit the college web site.
- Third-Party Authorizations - Businesses, agencies, organizations, etc. may authorize payment for students/employees' educational expenses. Authorization from the agency must be either on file or presented to the Business Office at the time of registration stating the specific charges covered.
- Tuition Payment Plan (E-Pay) -Students may apply for an installment plan through FACTS Tuition Management for tuition, fees and books. Payments are set up at 0% interest with a $25 per semester or $45 per academic year fee. Students must enroll for at least six (6) semester hours and complete an application in the Business Office or online.
***Payment options subject to change. Find the tuition rates other fees, and payment options Link to Tuition, Fees, Payment Options.
When will I gain access to my distance learning course?
All students will have access to their courses in the college's learning management system (Moodle) on the first day of each semester. Students should log into the learning management system (Moodle) on the first day of classes and look for instructions from their instructor. Students who do not log into a course and make a submission by the 10% point of the semester will be dropped from that course.
Where do I take any on-campus examinations required by a distance learning course?
Some courses do require on-site testing or proctored testing while others have all of the tests available online. If a course requires a supervised test, then the student can take the test in the Testing Center located in Academic Support Center (ASC) in Thompson Hall or at the Ashe or Alleghany campuses. If none of these locations will work for the student, then the student can work out an arrangement with the instructor to take the test at a more convenient location. In this case the student must find a proctor for the test and arrange for the proctor to carefully read, sign, and mail a Proctor Agreement (available from the instructor) to the course instructor. This needs to be done at the beginning of the semester before any tests can be completed.
Examples of proctors are:
- A high school principal, counselor, or superintendent
- A staff member at an university or college testing center
Proctors must be:
- Unrelated to the student
- Able to provide supervision for the entire examination period
Click here to access the Testing Center for hours and additional information.
As a distance learning student, how do I resolve a student grievance?
Distance learning students residing in the state of North Carolina who wish to resolve a grievance should follow Wilkes Community College's Student Grievance Process.
Distance learning students residing outside the state of North Carolina while attending Wilkes Community College and wish to resolve a grievance should also follow Wilkes Community College's Student Grievance Process.
The purpose of the Student Grievance Process is to determine equitable solutions to problems that might arise and to deal with these problems in a fair and just manner. This process is open to students and/or employees seeking a resolution for what is perceived to be unfair treatment in student-student or student-faculty/staff interaction.
The grievance process must be initiated within five school days after the aggrieved party becomes aware of the situation. For academic issues with curriculum courses, students are asked to attempt to resolve the matter by first talking with the faculty member involved, then the division dean, and lastly the senior academic officer. For academic issues for continuing education courses, students are asked to attempt to resolve the matter by first talking with the instructor involved, then the senior continuing education officer. For all other issues, students are asked to attempt to resolve the situation with the other party involved and if unsuccessful, contact the dean of student services and lastly the senior student services official.
If the grievance cannot be resolved through Wilkes Community College's Student Grievance Process, you may file a complaint with your state. The Student Grievance Contact Information for Individual States provides phone numbers, emails and/or links to state education agencies. Wilkes Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Wilkes Community College is working to achieve compliance as established in HEOA 600.9 (c).
If an institution if offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State where it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary [of Education] the State's approval upon request. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 and 1002)