Distance Education at Gaston College expands learning opportunities by using nontraditional delivery methods to meet the growing scheduling needs of students throughout Gaston and Lincoln counties. A wide range of Internet-based courses is available through the curriculum (credit) or continuing education (non-credit) programs. These courses are designed for students with some Internet background. Students must have access to a computer linked to the Internet. Students may also use the Internet-accessible computers in the Morris Library to take the courses. The current technologies available include two-way interactive video and Internet-based courses. For curriculum course information contact the Distance Education office at 704.922.6515 or for continuing education (non-credit) course information visit www.ed2go.com/gaston or call Community Education at 704.922.6251.
Gaston College offers three main types of online distance education courses:
Internet courses meet online, where students receive lessons, complete assignments, and communicate in a virtual classroom. Students must have regular access to a computer and the internet; have good computer skills; work independently; and be self-motivated. Internet courses have course content, a schedule for completing online assignments, and require a minimum of 2-4 hours of independent study per course credit hour. Generally students are NOT required to come to campus; however, some Internet courses may require proctored tests/presentations or labs to complete the course.
Hybrid/Web Blended courses meet onsite and online, as designated on the course schedule. While these courses utilize some of the same technologies as Internet courses, students also attend some face-to-face sessions.
Many of our traditional face-to-face courses will use Blackboard to supplement instruction. In addition, Gaston College provides a few courses between the three (3) campuses via the two-way Interactive audio/video network. Students meet in one (1) of the video classrooms and have class with students at the other campuses. The instructor is physically at one of the three campuses.
Hybrid Flexible (HyFlex) is a multi-modal instructional delivery method where the College has the option to deliver the online portion of a curriculum course synchronously, asynchronously, or both as long as 100% of the instruction is offered face to face with the instructor in a physical classroom. Students may choose to attend the regularly scheduled in-person session or the online option on a session-by-session basis.
Students may attend this class in-person as scheduled or virtually as scheduled. Attendance is required either on-campus or virtually as scheduled.
Out of State Online Student Grievance
Gaston College students residing outside the state of North Carolina who desire to resolve a grievance are encouraged to follow the College’s Student Complaint Procedure. If an issue cannot be resolved internally, a complaint may be filed with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints or with Gaston College’s accrediting agency. Please visit the Distance Education webpage at Gaston College Complaint Resolution for Online/Distance Education Students for more information.
North Carolina Information Highway
Through the North Carolina Information Highway, Gaston College can receive courses or teleconferences from other institutions using two-way interactive televisions in classrooms. Participants at the receiving sites interact with the presenters and participants at the originating sites. The Dallas Campus also delivers two-way interactive classes and presentations to the Lincoln Campus and Kimbrell Campus of Gaston College and to other institutions.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements and guidelines apply and extend to distance education students. Gaston College ensures the integrity of its courses and programs offered through distance education by verifying the identity of students participating in classes and completing coursework. The primary method for verification is a required secure login and password to Blackboard. Students are advised to protect their username and password at all times. In addition to secure login credentials, some distance education classes may require proctored examinations. The College provides proctoring services free of charge at the Learning, Persistence & Completion Center (LPCC). The College does not charge students related to verification identity, though students are required to present a photo ID, i.e., driver’s license or Gaston College ID (for which there is additional charge) at the LPCC. Students who are unable to take an exam at the LPCC may often use proctoring services at local libraries or colleges free of charge. For students who are unable to use any of the free-of-charge proctoring services, any proctoring charges incurred are the responsibility of the student.