Distance Education masthead

Frequently Asked Questions

What programs are available through distance education at USC Upstate?
USC Upstate currently offers the final two years of the following degree programs through distance education: RN-BSN Program, CRJ Program, IMS/HIM Program, ETM Program, and M.Ed. Programs. However, a variety of courses within most degree programs are offered distance education, including our graduate degree programs. Please visit the listing of distance education courses for the current semester located on the right of the Distance Education website or on the Master Schedule.
 
I have never taken a course online.  How do I know if this will work for me?
Take a quiz to gauge your readiness to take an online course. Online learning requires a self-motivated learner that will adhere to deadlines, be disciplined to complete tasks on his/her own, have a reliable Internet connection, etc. This type of learning is not for everyone, but is an option for those seeking the flexibility distance education affords.
 
Is financial aid available for distance education courses?
Yes, students should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for applications and further information.
 
Do distance education courses cost more than regular courses at USC Upstate?
Distance education students pay the same tuition and fees as campus students. Visit the Admissions website for more information.
 
Am I eligible for USC Upstate Student Services?
Yes! Distance Learners are eligible for all services offered by the University. You may call or e-mail to request specific services. To access counseling or tutoring services, students must come to campus. The Office of Student Affairs can be reached at 864-503-5108 or visit the Student Affairs website.
 
How do I obtain accommodations for my special learning needs or disability?
Students requiring accommodations for disabilities or learning needs must contact the Office of Disability to make the necessary arrangements. USC Upstate provides accessibility for all university programs, services, and activities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Services offered include priority registration, test proctoring, classroom adaptation, and a sign-language interpreter, a reader, or a note taker.  The Office of Disability Services can be reached at 864-503-5199 or visit the Disability Services website.  
 
Will I have to participate in an online course at a set time or at my own pace?
Each faculty member designs his/her own course according to best practice and what works best for his/her subject area. Therefore, distance education courses may be synchronous in design or asynchronous – it depends on the instructor.
 
Once I register for an online course, what do I do next?
Once you are officially enrolled in an online course, you will need to access the course through the USC Upstate Blackboard system no later than the first scheduled date for the course; however, most course materials are available several days before the course officially begins. Click here for support materials regarding how to navigate Blackboard, logins, etc.
 
How do I find out if there are required textbooks or other materials for the course?
All required course materials are available through the USC Upstate bookstore and can be purchased online. Visit the bookstore website – use the search feature to find your course information.
 
What if I need to access the library?
Distance education students with a student identification number and access to the USC Upstate web site have full access to USC Upstate library services and electronic holdings. A designated distance education librarian is available (call 864-503-5991 or e-mail: jlamee@uscupstate.edu) to assist students with their library needs. Books and articles not available online will be mailed to the student’s home. Visit the Library Distance Education resource page.
 
Can I participate in student organizations as a distance education student?
Yes. All students officially enrolled at USC Upstate are eligible to become members of any student organization for which eligibility requirements are met.  Click here to view a list of all student organizations.
 
Are distance education courses generally easier than campus-based courses?
No.  Students should expect courses to require at least as much time as a traditional campus courses. All courses at USC Upstate, regardless of delivery method adhere to the same strict standards and pre-requisites.  

How will I submit assignments and take tests? 
Most distance education courses require assignments to be submitted through Blackboard or emailed to the instructor (each instructor has different policy; therefore, read the syllabus carefully).  Examinations may also be administered securely through Blackboard.  However, the instructor does reserve the right to require major examinations to be taken with a proctor or on campus through our Testing Center.