This fall, NETC will offer 24 online courses, an increase of nearly 500 percent over online courses offered during the Fall 2008 semester. This increase reflects the growing national trend of college courses growing from the classroom to the computer, and the college’s commitment to meeting student demand for more flexibility.
“We plan to continue developing and expanding the courses we offer online,” said Dr. Forest Mahan, vice president of academic affairs at NETC. “Students, especially our adult learners, are particularly interested in the flexibility with scheduling that online courses provide and we want to continue to meet that student interest and demand.”
Online courses adapt to a student’s schedule, allowing those who can’t physically be in the classroom to obtain the same quality education as their peers. The online program is particularly popular with those who have a set employment schedule or whose geographic distance from the college makes attending class difficult or impossible.
Dr. Mahan, who teaches a history course online, finds many circumstances bring students to online education.
“I have a student who is spending the summer in Germany, but is still able to take my course so he can continue working on credits for a degree,” said Mahan. “Some students also find it cost, distance and time prohibitive to drive to one of our campuses in Pageland, Cheraw, Bennettsville or Dillon so online courses become more affordable and convenient. Taking classes online also allows students to receive an education while not sacrificing time to their jobs and families.”
NETC student Charles Powell, of Pageland, agreed that taking courses online allows for greater freedom in a student’s schedule and an elimination of travel time and expenses. Powell took an English course online and would recommend it to other students.
“I learned just as much in the online course as I would in a traditional setting,” said Powell. “The interaction with the teachers is about the same and they are very welcoming.”
Powell, of Pageland, SC, is now preparing to transfer to Clemson University.
This fall semester, which starts on August 17, NETC will offer a total of 24 online classes in areas including accounting, administrative office technology, computer programming, criminal justice, English, History, Humanities, management, political science and psychology. NETC is also a member of the TECHONLINE Consortium, which makes online classes from technical colleges across South Carolina available to NETC students.
To see a complete list of online classes offered this fall at NETC, visit www.netc.edu, click on “Course Schedules – Fall Schedules 2009” just below the photo on the home page and then choose “Online Classes”.
Mark Knockemus, an instructor at NETC, praises the online classes for their ease of both operation and communication.
“There is a messaging system in the courses that allows students to reach instructors quickly and easily,” said Knockemus. “There are also discussion boards that are almost like talking back and forth in the classroom. Students can post questions or comments and both students and the instructor can reply.”
Knockemus, who in addition to his standard classroom instruction has been teaching courses online for the last few years, finds the online classes particularly suited to those who are already familiar with classroom and instruction dynamics.
“Some students do require that face-to-face interaction that classroom instruction at NETC provides,” said Knockemus. “I’ve found that more mature students do especially well in online courses. For any student, though, online courses offer incredible access and ease of scheduling.”
Fall semester classes start August 17. The admission application deadline is July 30. Applying online is possible through July 30 by visiting www.netc.edu, clicking on “Apply Now” in the News and Events box. Applications are also available for downloading on the “Admissions” page or by visiting one of NETC campuses in Pageland, Cheraw, Bennettsville and Dillon.