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Distance Learning


Distance learning at Patrick & Henry Community College is defined as a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction occurs when student and instructor are not in the same place. Distance learning courses at P&HCC enable students to achieve their educational goals by delivering academically sound courses and educational support services that are flexible and responsive. Courses are designed for students who are unable to travel to the main campus or who need to work independently to pursue academic goals outside the traditional classroom setting. Distance learning courses are equivalent academically to traditional courses, and many meet general education and transfer requirements. 

Students can take a single course or earn a degree or certificate through distance learning. However, distance learning is NOT for everyone; it requires a strong student commitment. Successful distance learning students are self-disciplined, self-aware, motivated, good readers, and possess good learning and study strategies.

All P&HCC distance learning courses are web-based. Therefore, distance learning students must have access to the internet. P&HCC provides a number of computer labs with this access. Distance learning courses are listed in the class schedule and can be identified by the words “Distance Learning” in place of the days. Students enrolling in any distance learning course should have their textbooks and other required material purchased by the beginning of class.

National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Logo

Patrick & Henry Community College is an approved institution of the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA)

Student Academic Grievance Procedure

Students who wish to file a complaint are expected to follow the Student Grievance Process for Academic and Non-Academic. This procedure defines the rights of students in settling problems and differences through an orderly grievance procedure.

Student complaints not resolved at the institutional level (Patrick & Henry Community College) may be appealed to the SARA state portal entity – the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The state portal entity has final authority on SARA complaints.

For a complaint which has not been resolved through these grievance procedures, students residing outside Virginia may file a complaint with the state in which you reside. The State Authorization Network maintains a list with student complaint information by state and agency.

Students in California, which is not a member of SARA, may contact the state Attorney General Office of California or the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.

Filing a Complaint to SCHEV

As a last resort, students may file a formal complaint with the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), this includes all distance learning students from SARA states. Detailed information about SCHEV’s formal student complaint procedure, the types of complaints they will not address, or to file a written “Student Complaint Form” with the agency can be found on the SCHEV Student Complaint.

Shared Services Distance Learning

P&HCC offers Shared Services Distance Learning (SSDL) courses through Northern Virginia Community College’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI). Students can take unique online courses that offer a broader choice of career and educational content. These shared courses can also help students who have just a few course requirements to complete a degree. Students register and pay through P&HCC and enjoy all of the same campus resources.


Lisa Coffey
276-656-8777 (x0408)
LRC 107

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