Distance Learning

Sometimes when you attend college, you need options, like where and when you take your classes. Maybe you need to work a full-time job or stay at home with children while pursuing your degree at Western Piedmont Community College. Taking some or all of your classes in a distance learning format (online, hybrid, or web-assisted) may allow you to overcome some of the obstacles that prevent you from taking a seated/traditional course. Workloads for distance learning courses are comparable to traditional courses, but the delivery method utilizes a variety of technologies in an online environment.

Distance learning courses provide quality instruction comparable to traditional on-campus instruction and carry full curriculum and Workforce Development & Continuing Education credit. Distance learning courses are equivalent to on-campus courses in terms of prerequisites, content, rigor, and in the case of curriculum courses, transferability.

General Online Course Requirements

Students enrolling in a program to take distance learning courses must first complete the admissions requirements for the program. Once the admissions steps are complete, you then complete the registration process, for the distance learning course. Due to the nature of online courses, students must be extremely self-motivated and self-directed. Basic technology skills are required to be successful in an online course. In some courses, specific technology is required to complete the course work. Contact the course instructor to identify technology needs in the course such as specific products and versions. Please complete the Online Readiness Assessment (opens in a new window) to make sure you meet all of the requirements to be an online student at WPCC.

After registering for the distance learning course, the course materials will be available to you in Moodle on the first day of the semester. If course materials are not available on the first day of the semester, you should contact your instructor immediately. If you do not hear from your instructor within 24 hours, you should submit a Moodle Support ticket.

Students enrolled in Distance Learning courses must complete the mandatory course enrollment activity on the first day of the term. Failure to complete the mandatory course enrollment activity will result in removal from the course.

Pioneer Pass, Student Email, and Moodle

Pioneer Pass is a web interface that provides Western Piedmont Community College students real-time, up-to-date information online. It can be used to register for classes, view class schedules, check grades, view unofficial transcripts, make payments, check financial aid information, and much more. To access Pioneer Pass click “Pioneer Pass” at the top of this page.

WPCC uses Microsoft Office 365 to provide college email accounts for each student as a means of communicating important information. *Please Note: The Microsoft Office 365 email account will be the only email account the college staff and college instructors will use to communicate with students. Students should check their college email account every 24 hours. Students must use their college email account instead of their personal email for all college correspondence. To access your email account click “Student Email” in the upper right hand corner of the page.

WPCC uses Moodle, a Learning Management System designed to engage learners and promote collaborative, student-centered learning. Internet, hybrid, and web-assisted courses are delivered in Moodle. To access online, hybrid, or web-assisted courses click “Moodle” in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Username and Password

Your username and password is the same for Pioneer Pass, Office 365 email, and Moodle. To obtain your username for WPCC go to Pioneer Pass Account Information (opens in new window) and click on “What’s my User ID?” Then go to Password Master (opens in new window) and choose “Set Password.” Once your password is set you will be able to log in to Pioneer Pass, Office 365 email, and Moodle. If you have problems with Password Master, you can all the WPCC Help Desk at (828) 448-6030.

Additional Costs and Requirements Associated with Online Courses

If you are taking an online course at WPCC, here is information concerning additional fees and requirements you may encounter.

  • Distance Learning/Identification Fee: WPCC does not charge a separate distance learning/identification fee to students.
  • Test Proctor Costs – WPCC students taking WPCC courses and testing at the WPCC campus: WPCC does not charge its students a fee for proctoring tests associated with WPCC courses.
  • Test Proctor Costs – WPCC students taking WPCC courses and testing at another location: If a student must take a proctored exam and wishes to test at a non-WPCC site, the student is responsible for finding an acceptable testing site and obtaining approval from their instructor. Additionally, any fees charged by the remote proctoring site is the responsibility of the student and these costs vary based upon the students’ chosen proctoring sites’ practices.
  • Additional Supplies Required: Some assignments require students to have a microphone and/or webcam to complete. Most laptops come with these pre-installed, but if your computer does not have them pre-installed, webcams and microphones are available at most office supply stores and others that carry computers and/or computer supplies. Contact your instructor for more information on equipment needed. (NOTE: If you are using a webcam, check that it has an integrated microphone before purchasing one separately.)
  • Test Proctor Costs for non-WPCC courses: Persons taking courses from other colleges may incur an exam proctoring fee. Contact the Academic Success Center for more information.