Skip to main content



Distance Learning Definitions, Privacy Protection, and Quality


Consistent with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission of Colleges, the college defines distance learning as the formal education process in which the majority of instruction (interaction between students and instructors and among students) in a course occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place. In this process, the requirements for a course may be completed through face-to-face interaction and/or through remote communications. These processes are subject to the usual evaluation procedures associated with the Commission’s review process.


The college protects the privacy of all students, including students enrolled in distance and correspondence education courses in the following manner:

  • Strict adherence to the rules of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The official FERPA statement is available through the Isothermal Community College website.
  • Secure login and passcode: Each student is issued a unique student identification (ID) number at the time of initial registration. This ID number in conjunction with the student’s first name, last name, and last four digits of the social security number are used to create a login and passcode for entry into the learning management system and the student email system, both of which are closed systems that require user authentication prior to accessing content within the systems.


To assure common curriculum course outcomes, students enrolled in distance learning courses are administered equivalent or comparable exams and assignments as required in the traditional course cognate. Student achievement is evaluated based on performance on assignments and examination scores. Achievement results are monitored by deans/directors, and if a significant deviation occurs in distance learning courses, an investigation of causes will be initiated by the dean/director and shall involve all appropriate parties in order to determine modifications in delivery of course content, if needed.


The Distance Learning Team (“the team”) shall assist faculty and staff in the planning, development, implementation, and improvement of distance learning technology resources that enhance student learning. The team is responsible for securing state authorization for Online/Distance Education Program/Courses policy (Policy 042-01-03AP). Membership shall include the coordinator of technology enhanced learning (team leader), Help Desk representative, Vice President of Academic and Student Services, and Director of Institutional Assessment and Accreditation/SACSCOC liaison.


The Distance Learning Advisory Team shall advise the Distance Learning Team by overseeing the development and expansion of distance learning courses, monitoring evaluations for course completion rates and course quality, and recommending policy regarding distance learning development and delivery. Membership shall include all members of the Distance Learning Team and the dean/director or their designee from the following areas:

  • Academic Success and Advising
  • Applied and Business Sciences and Engineering Technology
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Assessment, Planning, and Research
  • Continuing Education
  • Health and Public Services
  • Polk Campus
  • Student Services
  • Webmaster


Course Section Designators (Based on instructional delivery method)

Course Section Designators (based on instructional delivery method)

Type of Course


Description of Instructional Delivery Method



The instructor and students meet face-to-face, according to designated dates, times, and location. [Note: Activities in the course may include online research components or other online resources.]

Internet or


100% of instruction is delivered through the internet.  [Note: May include a required face-to-face orientation or proctored exams.]

Web-supported or Web-assisted


Primary instructional delivery is via traditional face-to-face method with a requirement that students have internet access as a supplemental part the course. 50% or less of the instruction is delivered through the Internet. [Example: A class that meets on a regular schedule, but students are required to access instructional material, submit assignments, and/or interact with the instructor and other students via the internet.]



Primary instructional delivery is online with a requirement that students also meet in traditional face-to-face sessions as determined appropriate by the college. 51% or more of the instruction is delivered through the internet. [Example: An online course with a requirement that students attend one or more face-to-face labs.]



100% of instruction is delivered through the Internet with synchronous meeting times.

Cooperative Education


Instruction consisting of the integration of traditional classroom learning with supervised work experience, and where there is no internet requirement.

Policy Number: 402-01-02AP

Adopted: July 17, 2001

Amended: October 21, 2003; March 28, 2006; September 16, 2013; November 17, 2014; February 25, 2021

Download a PDF of this policy