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About DLIT – FAQ

What is DLIT?

The Distance Learning  & Instructional Technology (DLIT) Department of Southwest can help you advance a career, work on a degree or certificate, or achieve personal goals…all without missing a day of work or play. Distance Learning offers affordable educational programs and courses that meet the needs of an ever changing lifestyle.

The cost of our tuition is well below that of any four-year university and our credits are transferable.

SWCC is an accredited institution of higher learning and thereby held to the high standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. With over 30 years of experience delivering distance education, we have built a reputation for quality service and support.

Regardless of the delivery method: Internet-based, Compressed Video, or Video (DVD), our courses and curriculum are built to help you achieve success.

Is DLIT right for me?

Are you a good candidate for distance learning?

ready for online

Distance Learning courses can be challenging for certain types of students. Effort is required in communicating with your instructor, as well as in keeping organized and staying on a schedule.

One must be able to work independently, but be comfortable reaching out for help as often as necessary.

Before enrolling in an online course, you should first assess your readiness for stepping into the online learning environment.  Please take a minute to use this SWCC Distance Learning Readiness Survey and learn about skills you may need to develop for distance learning success.

System Requirements

The following requirements are highly recommended. While slower processors and RAM may be functional, you may find using them unpleasant.

Hardware recommendations

Monitor 1024×768 minimum

1 GHz Pentium processor

2 GB RAM or higher

56K modem, cable modem, or DSL

Windows 8.1 or higher

RELIABLE Internet Service Provider (ISP)

If using a Mac: PowerMac G3 or higher, OS 8.1 or higher
It is extremely important that you have a reliable ISP, especially if your course requires that you take tests online. If your ISP tends to drop your connection, you may have to retake tests.

Software recommendations

Web browser: Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.( popup blocker turned OFF)

VCCS Student e-mail and Canvas account. (provided when you completed the application to SWCC)

Microsoft Office

Adobe Reader

Additional software as required by course instructor

(Links provided to be installed at your own discretion based on your system/class needs – contact respective user support for assistance if needed)


How are the Distance Learning courses delivered?

Hybrid classes are those courses that meet face-to-face, but have some sessions that are delivered by other means–online, Canvas, etc. Students have the combined experience of meeting their classmates in person as well as the flexibility of time outside of the classroom to work independently. Hybrid classes are indicated by the letter H section numbers.

Interactive classroom video classes are two-way real-time video courses taught in electronic classrooms. Interactive classroom video courses are synchronous, meaning the student must attend at the time designated for the course. However, students may attend at the originating site (send site) or at any of the receiving sites listed in the class schedule. Interactive classroom video courses are designated by the letter C section numbers.

Distance Learning online courses are delivered via Canvas, an online Learning Management System.  Your access to these courses will be established when you register and will be visible to you through the MySouthwest portal once your instructor makes them available. Your course may incorporate streaming media videos, interactive discussion boards, online assignment submissions, proctored testing, or a combination of these and other web-based tools.  Please familiarize yourself with the syllabus and other foundational materials provided by your instructor in Canvas, as different instructors have different expectations and requirements.

Before you register for an online course, please check your readiness with a quick distance learning readiness quiz. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor and the Distance Learning Department if you need assistance developing your online learning skills.  You must have dependable high speed internet access in order to complete these courses.  There are computer labs available on campus if you experience problems with your home internet service.

Questions may be directed to the Distance Learning staff by calling 276-964-7279, or emailing questions to, or to the specific academic instructor whose email address follows the course listing. A Distance Learning online course is designated by section number W1-W7.

If I take an online course, do I ever have to come to campus?

It depends on the course.

For hybrid or video courses, you will need to make contact with the Distance Learning Department to pick up your course materials, (i.e. syllabus, videos, etc.) Courses that are entirely web-based do not require you to visit our office. If you’re unsure, call the Distance Learning Department with your course information available, and they will help you determine your best plan of action.

You may or may not have supervised tests. Click here to visit our Testing area for more information on this topic.

Are Distance Learning courses easier than classes on campus?


Distance learning courses have the same objectives and materials as on campus courses, they are just geared to allow the student more flexibility in scheduling their time in completing all course requirements.

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Davis Hall is temporarily closed for repairs. Day & night classes in Davis Hall are canceled on April 17 & 18.