Online Classes and Programs
Sometimes college is so close and yet so far. There's a daily schedule that just won't let you take that next step up the ladder.
That's why OCtech offers programs that can be taken in a combination of face-to-face classes and online options. The majority of our programs have these options, some with evening options as well.
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA)
In July 2016, South Carolina became a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and OCtech became an approved SARA institution in December 2016. By being a member, OCtech established standards for offering post-secondary e-learning courses and programs in all member states.
What is State Authorization and SARA?
State authorization is a legal term for a college's compliance with individual statutes and regulations in each state in which it operates, has a physical presence, or engages in educational services and programs. This means certain OCtech activities are allowed in all SARA-approved states. This agreement among member states establishes comparable national standards for interstate offerings of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. For more information, please visit the NC-SARA website.
Technology Requirements for Online Courses
Students need to have access to a properly functioning computer throughout the semester.
Student computers need to be capable of running the latest versions of browsers, recent software, and have the necessary tools to be kept free of viruses and spyware. Also, some courses may require special software that students have to purchase. In some courses (i.e. speech, foreign languages, etc.), a webcam and microphone may be needed.
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 and up
- Mozilla Firefox
- Apple Safari 5.1 and up
- Google Chrome (latest two public releases)
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Cookies enabled
- Pop-up windows (pop-up blocker) turned off
Students are responsible to have Internet service. High-speed Internet access is recommended, as dial-up may be slow and limited in downloading information and completing online tests. Some courses may contain streaming audio and/or video content.
Use of Public Computers
If using a public library or other public access computer, students should check to ensure they will have access for the length of time required to complete their tasks and tests.
- Apply online
- Submit an official copy of your high school transcript or GED and previous college transcripts (if applicable). You may also request that your previous college email your transcript to email@example.com.
- Contact an admissions counselor at 803.535.1234 to find out how to submit placement test scores (COMPASS, ACT or SAT).
- Apply for financial aid:
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. OCtech School Code is 006815. The earlier you complete the financial aid process, the more likely your money will be here on time.
To ensure this process is completed successfully, contact the Financial Aid Office at 803.535.1224 3-5 business days after submitting your FAFSA.
The Admissions Office will send you a letter and email notification of acceptance, as well as detailed directions on how to begin the advising/registration process.
Advising Sessions for Online Students
Initial advising sessions are conducted by Advising Center personnel. Students may contact Tracy Dibble at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803.535.1225 for more information. Students should send an email to email@example.com to ask about beginning the advising/registration process. Online students may be advised online.
If the student references in the email that he or she is a completely online student, an Advising Center representative will approve classes and direct them to student tutorials on the OCtech website that will guide them through the registration process. The tutorials provide step-by-step instructions on how to log in to Connect (the campus registration management system) and D2L (the campus learning management system), as well as how to drop classes, register, etc.
Each online student has access to his or her assigned advisor through D2L. The student should see a course entitled “Advising” in the course listings when logged on to D2L. The student may use this course to contact and/or interact with the advisor, receive advising, or set up a meeting via online, or by phone.
Online students may visit the OCtech Bookstore page to find a list of textbooks in use during the upcoming semester. This list contain the book authors, titles, and ISBN numbers that students may use to purchase books from sources other than the OCtech Bookstore should they choose to do so.
All online courses are delivered through D2L, the college’s learning management system. Click here to access D2L.
If you have any issues or concerns with your online class over the course of the semester, please contact Warren Yarbrough, Dean of the Online College, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-803-535-1287. Also, D2L provides a Help Desk for online students for assistance with using D2L (For course or course software issues, please contact the instructor).
After you register for your online course, there are a few more steps to follow to get started. Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to check in with your instructor on or before the first day classes are scheduled! Not checking in will result in your being administratively withdrawn from the class.
To check in and begin your course, do the following:
- Log in to OCtech’s D2L online learning portal by linking to www.octech.edu and clicking on Student Resources and then D2L.
- Once you are in D2L, type in your username and password. Your username in most cases is your last name, first initial of your first name, and middle initial; all lowercase letters with no spaces. To find out what your username is please click on “What’s my User ID?” under “Login Information” on the left side of the page. Your password will be your date of birth (MMDDYY format). After logging on with this password you will be prompted to change this password and select hint answers.
- After you are logged on, you may access your course at the “Academics” tab. Click on it, and you will see a listing of your courses. Click on the one for your online class.
- When the page for your course loads, you will see the link to email your instructor. Email your instructor to check in. You will then receive instructions on how to begin.
- For some online courses, the course content may be include on additional websites (book website, My Math Lab, etc.) that are linked from D2L. You instructor will give you directions on how to access this course material.
Tutoring & Academic Support
Online tutoring is available for students through Brainfuse. Students are able access Brainfuse directly through their D2L account. The link for Brainfuse can be found under the resources tab once you have entered any class page. This online service connects students with a live tutor or can be used to submit a paper for review through their writing lab. If you need assistance, please call the Student Success Center at (803) 535-1376 or e-mail email@example.com.
Online resources can be found through the Student Success Center’s website that are broken down by subject. Links to educational online resources are provided to assist students with learning content for their classes. A direct link to the Student Success Center is provided on the Home Page of D2L that allows students to access services provided by the center, the tutoring calendar, and online resources.
Student Success Center’s website:
Student Success Center’s online resources:
OCtech’s online students have access to research resources through the library’s website. Available resources include ebooks, databases, course and subject guides, and the ability to check out or request books from any SC academic library.
The library has a number of ebook databases, all of which allow you to search by keyword, browse by chapter or print pages from the book.
Library databases provide a wide range of academic articles from journals, magazines and newspapers.
Subject and course guides organize library resources by subject or course to make the research process easier.
PASCAL Delivers allows students to request or check out books from other SC academic libraries.
All ebooks and databases generate citations.
When accessing an ebook or database while off-campus, students will be prompted to enter their 13-digit student ID number.
Online students can contact the library at 803.535.1262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Policies for Online Courses
Students can be enrolled in online courses as well as traditional on-campus courses in the same semester.
To ensure a successful online experience, OCtech students should maintain a 2.0 GPA to continue taking online courses. Please see your advisor if you have questions or contact the Dean of the Online College at 803.535.1287 or email@example.com.
Generally speaking, there are no class sessions to attend in online course. Students are expected to check in by email at least once per week. If a student does not check in for a two-week period, he or she will be dropped from the course.
In most cases, course assessments - including quizzes and tests - are done online. Should an instructor feel the need to use a proctor, he or she may use the college’s Testing Center. The instructor will provide students with directions on how to access the center. The following policy applies to online quizzes and tests:
- All academic honesty/dishonesty policies published in the college catalog apply to online coursework.
- Quizzes/tests are hosted through the college’s learning management system, which students may access only through their unique passwords.
- Quizzes/tests are password protected. The instructor will set the password prior to opening the quiz/test. The instructor will share this password with students through the LMS email just prior to opening the quiz/test.
- Quizzes/tests will have a set time limit.
- When possible, questions on the quizzes/test will appear one at a time.
The students' right to privacy and confidentiality of student academic records is based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. These regulations ensure students' rights to review their academic records, limitations of their rights and release of information to third parties. Specific measures to ensure student privacy in online courses include the following:
- Student access to courses in the learning management system (D2L) is password protected. All students are issued unique, secure logins and passwords at the time of their admission. At first use, issued passwords must be reset. Passwords must be reset by the student every 180 days to ensure continued integrity.
- Faculty use their secure Connect account to submit grades and students use it to view their grades. Security features linked to the password provide protection - faculty can only submit grades for their courses and students can only view their personal grades.
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College complies fully with section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disability Act. Students who have a documented learning disability or a documented disability that interferes with cognitive performance and who require special accommodations should also contact the Coordinator for Students with Disabilities. Students must reveal their documented disability and the need for special accommodations. For more information, contact Tracy Dibble, Director of Counseling, the Counseling Center and Services for Students with Disabilities, at 803.535.1225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.