Distance Learning Policies
Be aware of the policies and procedures that differ with distance learning (online/hybrid) courses compared to traditional courses. You will find these below:
HGTC Policy on Network Communication
All users of the College’s computers and data network understand and accept that all electronic communications, regardless of their subject, content, nature or format, are “public records” of the State, subject to release through the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. Except for the limited exemptions specified in Section 30-4-40 of the Act, neither the institution, nor the individual has a right to privacy. Therefore, all electronic actions and communications should be created and distributed under the assumption that the whole world may see them.
Attendance Policy for Distance Learning Courses
Students enrolled in online courses for which campus attendance is not required must fulfill the following attendance requirements.
You MUST establish contact with your professor within the FIRST 5 class days of the semester – failure to do so may cause you to be dropped from the course. Contact can include visit, phone, e-mail or course logon. *Failure to contact is the equivalent of failure to attend; student will be dropped and refunds are not automatically issued.
Distance learning students must maintain interaction with the professor as stipulated in the course instructional package. Failure to contact according to this schedule is considered excessive absence.
*Students dropped from courses for excessive absences as defined by these requirements
are automatically assigned a "W" grade prior to the two-thirds point; after the two-thirds
point an instructor may assign a grade of "WF".
*Students who fail to complete a scheduled test without contacting the professor are subject to drop for absences.
If you find that you’re unable to complete a course, notify the professor immediately by e-mail or by phone. Also, you should go to the Registration Tools card in your myHGTC account to withdraw from the class. Please pay attention to the withdraw and refund deadlines printed in the academic calendar. The grade of “W” will be awarded through the two-thirds point of the semester. Afterwards, a grade of “WF” (Withdraw Failing) will be assigned if the student is failing the class or a “W” if the student is passing.
Refunds are provided to students who register for an online class only if the withdrawal process is completed and meets the refund date deadlines. The College Catalog at www.hgtc. edu explains refund deadlines.
Distance Learning Programs Complaint Procedure
Complaints related to college-specific concerns including academic, curricula, and
professionalism should first be directed to the instructor of the course, followed
by the Chair of the department.
College related complaints to include student programs, technology, library services, counseling services, student accounting, and other services should be directed to the appropriate Associate Vice President.
In the event of a complaint, the student is encouraged to attempt to resolve the issue with the college through the College’s grievance procedure found in the College catalog. The student does have the option of filing a complaint concerning HGTC’s Distance Learning Program with the appropriate authority in the state in which he/she resides. South Carolina students may find the SC CHE’s complaint procedures, a directory of State Authorization Agencies and Lead Contacts is available from The State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) at http://www.sheeo.org/our-members.
Financial Aid Information
Students receiving financial assistance (including grants, scholarships, VA benefits) must be aware of their obligations regarding the financial award and penalties for paying back unearned monies. The Standards for Academic Progress (SAP) and Earned Aid policies affect your aid. If you withdraw from class or completely withdraw from the College, your aid may be affected, based on Satisfactory Academic Progress regulations. You will likely be required to repay the Financial Aid program which awarded the benefits for overpayments. Make sure you are aware of all policies that affect your aid. If you don’t know ask—especially before your drop classes!
Contact the Financial Aid Office for policies, or more information (843) 349-5251.
International students should check with their Designated School Official before registering for an online course.
Veteran students who wish to enroll in Distance Learning classes should review the website, http://www.gibill.va.gov/, for current information regarding eligibility and benefits for online enrollment. The VA toll-free number, 1.888.442.4551 (GI Bill-1), allows students to speak with a VA Case Manager.