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					LAST UPDATED: October 1, 2012




Computer Science Technology Department
Houston Community College System
Department Website: http://csci.hccs.edu


Computer Science Distance Education Materials
Acceptance Guidelines:
    Not all people are well suited for this type of a course. A general set of guidelines is used
    determine if you should be accepted into this independent study section. These guidelines
    will require you to be:
     Self motivated - Self starter:
         Usually this means having completed at least 6 credit hours of college and have a
            cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better. The instructor or Department Head may approve
            exceptions.

     Already be familiar with micro computers by having used:
       Windows 95, 98,2000 or XP
       A word processing software product
       A spreadsheet software product
       An Internet browser

     Able and willing to use open lab times provided by the college to complete the course
      and/or have adequate hardware with software installed on a computer at home or
      work.

    Your materials are delivered electronically, and most interactions with your instructor and
    with each other are via telecommunications. Instructors are required to check e-mail
    regularly, and you can normally expect a response in less than 2 days (though many respond
    even sooner), excluding weekends. Students should check e-mail and web pages for
    updates regularly, not less than two times each week.

    It is recommended that students read their e-mails from the OLDEST to the NEWEST, as
    many times a response will be satisfied.

    During exams and project submissions you should check more often in the event a problem
    has occurred in sending an attached assignment.

    Intermediate grades are available with your student ID and assigned password that you
    received during Orientation. Make sure that your address is correct on your student ID
    card.

New DE Student User ID

Your new student login user ID will be your HCC User ID (sometimes referred to as the “W”
number). All HCC students have a unique User ID. It is the same number you use for class
registration. For students who have taken DE classes in previous semesters, the login will no
longer be “firstname.lastname” + the last 2 digit of your SS #. If you do not know your User ID
you can look it up using the following links:
            o From the HCC home page, click on “Register Here”
            o On the Student Web Services page, click on “Registration (Online)”
            o Click on “Retrieve User ID” and follow the instructions.
Or use the direct link:
 https://hccsaweb.hccs.edu:8080/servlets/iclientservlet/sauat/?cmd=start
The default student password will still be “distance.” As always, students will then be
prompted to change their password after their first login. These new student login procedures
apply to classes taught in both Blackboard and WebCT. Please contact desupport@hccs.edu if
you need additional assistance with your log in.

HCC Course Withdrawal Policy

Texas imposes penalties on students who drop courses excessively. Students are limited to no
more than SIX total course withdrawals throughout their educational career at a Texas public
college or university.

To help students avoid having to drop/withdraw from any class, HCC has instituted an Early
Alert process by which your professor will “alert” you and distance education (DE) counselors
that you might fail a class because of excessive absences and/or poor academic performance.
Contact your DE professor or a DE counselor to learn about what, if any, HCC interventions
might be available to assist you – online tutoring, child care, financial aid, job placement, etc. –
to stay in class and improve your academic performance.

In order to withdraw from your DE class, you MUST contact your DE professor or a DE
counselor and this must be done PRIOR to the withdrawal deadline to receive a “W” on your
transcript. If you do not withdraw before the deadline, you will receive the grade that you have
earned by the end of the semester. Zeros averaged in for required assignments/tests not
submitted will lower your semester average significantly, most likely resulting in a failing grade
(“F”). Please do not contact both a DE counselor and your DE professor to request a
withdrawal; either one is sufficient.

The final withdrawal deadline is at 4:30pm for 1st 5 week session is June 23rd, 2nd 5 week is
July 28th and 10 week is July 15th. Remember to allow a 24-hour response time when
communicating via email or telephone with a DE professor and/or counselor. Requests
received after the deadline will not be processed.

Student Services

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Receiving a W in a course may affect the status of your student
Visa. Once a W is given for the course, it will not be changed to an F because of the visa
consideration. International Students are restricted to ONLY ONE online/distance education
course each semester. Please contact the International Student Office at 713-718-8520 if you
have any questions about your visa status and other course issues.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:
"Any student with a documented disability (e.g. physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing,
etc) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the appropriate HCC
Disability Support Service (DSS) Counselor at the beginning of each semester. Faculty is
authorized to provide only the accommodations requested by the
Disability Support Services Office.”

Students who are requesting accommodations must first contact the appropriate (most
convenient) DSS Counseling office for assistance:

Central: 713.718.6164
Northwest: 713.718.5422
Northeast: 713.718.8420
Southeast: 713.718.7218
Southwest: 713.718.7909
System: 713.718.5165

*Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services – Central
*Students living outside of the HCC District service areas - Central

After student accommodation letters have been approved by the DSS office and submitted to
DE Counseling, students will receive a confirmation email along with instructions regarding
completion of the requested accommodation(s).

DISTANCE EDUCATION ADVISING AND COUNSELING SERVICES:
Advising can be accomplished by telephone at 713/718-5275 - option # 4 or via email at
decounseling@hccs.edu. Confidential sessions with the distance education counselors will help
students understand admissions, registration, entrance testing requirements, degree planning,
transfer issues, and career counseling. HCC counselors also maintain a local referral base in
order to provide appropriate referrals to students with personal or family issues that may
require long-term solutions.

NOTICE FOR STUDENTS WHO LIVE OUTSIDE OF HOUSTON: Students who live outside the
Houston area and cannot take paper exams at one of our HCC testing locations MUST make
arrangements for a proctor. Please see the DE Student Services webpage for information at the
following URL:
http://distance.hccs.edu/de-counseling/student_out_houston.htm

VIRTUAL CLASSROOM CONDUCT:
   As with on-campus classes, all students in HCC Distance Education courses are required to
   follow all HCC Policies & Procedures, the Student Code of Conduct, the Student Handbook,
   and relevant sections of the Texas Education Code when interacting and communicating in a
   virtual classroom with faculty and fellow students. Students who violate these policies and
   guidelines will be subject to disciplinary action that could include denial of access to course-
   related email, discussion groups, and chat rooms or being removed from the class.

USE OF CAMERAS OR RECORDING DEVICES:
   Use of recording devices, including camera phones and tape recorders, is prohibited in
   classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices, and other locations where instruction, tutoring, or
   testing occurs. Students with disabilities who need to use a recording device as a
   reasonable accommodation should contact the Office for Students with Disabilities for
   information regarding reasonable accommodations.

Caution/Warning: Software Usage Policy:
   Any software provided by HCCS in its computer labs is for your use in that lab only, and is
   licensed to the college. You are entitled to the use of this software during the scheduled
   class/lab time, and open lab time. It is not permitted to make copies of this licensed
   software. This practice of making illegal copies of software is known as pirating.
   Attempting to pirate the college's software will result in immediate dismissal from the
   course.

   Software that has been recommended or required by an instructor for downloading is
   usually shareware, and it is the responsibility of the student to obtain any required license
   from the publisher of the software.

Caution/Warning: Virus Problem & Closed Lab Environment:
   When dealing with computers, a virus is a program that does some mischief (annoyance to
   destructive). It is by attaching themselves to good program or data files that are stored on a
   diskette that we usually transmit virus programs. Diskettes that come in contact with a
   computer that has a virus program on the hard disk drive could catch the virus. If the
   diskette is then used in another machine, the next machine could catch the virus from the
   diskette. A virus may also attach to email of other files that you download via the Internet.
   Students taking Internet courses should strongly consider using a current virus-checking
   program on their personal machine.

        It is impossible to detect all viruses with a 100% guarantee. The student should
         recognize this risk and the college is not responsible for damage to any computer
         system from diskettes or downloads that become infected from a college computer.

Blackboard Student User ID

Your Blackboard login user ID will be your HCC User ID (sometimes referred to as the “W”
number). All HCC students have a unique User ID. If you do not know your User ID you can
look it up by visiting the HCC home page:
            o From www.hccs.edu, click on “Login Help” under the “Student System Sign In”
                field
            o Then click on “Retrieve User ID” and follow the instructions.
Or use the direct link: https://hccsaweb.hccs.edu:8080/servlets/iclientservlet/sauat/?cmd=start
The default student password is “distance.” Students will then be prompted to change their
password after their first login. Please visit DE Technical Support FAQs if you need additional
assistance with your log in.

New Blackboard Technical Support

As you know, starting this fall HCC has fully phased out WebCT CE 4.x and is now exclusively
utilizing Blackboard Vista as its learning management system.
To assist the transition to Bb Vista and to provide comprehensive technical help desk services
for all users (students, faculty, and staff), HCC has contracted with Blackboard and Presidium
Learning to establish a 24/7 support environment.

Representatives will be available to provide support for the Blackboard Vista learning
management system and software supported by that system via:
    A 24/7 toll-free phone service (1-866-588-5281)
    A comprehensive online Blackboard Vista knowledge base
    Submitting an online ticket
    Real-time chat

Please visit the new HCC Support Center website at:
http://d2.parature.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=8081

It is very important to modify any mentions of technical support in your syllabi and online
classes in general to the above link. Students should be directed to this site first.

This website is also available as a link from the new DE home page at http://de.hccs.edu and
the comprehensive HCC Online Course Resource Page located at http://online.hccs.edu/

When technical questions cannot be answered by this service, your issue will be escalated to
HCC technical support staff.

HCC Course Withdrawal Policy

The State of Texas has begun to impose penalties on students who drop courses excessively.
That is, if you repeat the same course more than twice, you have to pay extra tuition. In
addition, as of Fall 2007, students are limited to no more than SIX total course withdrawals
throughout their educational career at a Texas public college or university.

To help students avoid having to drop/withdraw from any class, HCC has instituted an Early
Alert process by which your professor will “alert” you and Distance Education (DE) counselors
that you might fail a class because of excessive absences and/or poor academic performance.
Contact your DE professor regarding your academic performance or a DE counselor to learn
about what, if any, HCC interventions might be available to assist you – online tutoring, child
care, financial aid, job placement, etc. – to stay in class and improve your academic
performance.

In order to withdraw from your DE class, you MUST contact your DE professor and this must
be done PRIOR to the withdrawal deadline to receive a “W” on your transcript. If you do not
withdraw before the deadline, you will receive the grade that you have earned by the end of
the semester. Zeros averaged in for required assignments/tests not submitted will lower your
semester average significantly, most likely resulting in a failing grade (“F”). If you do not feel
comfortable contacting your professor to withdraw, you may contact a DE counselor. However,
please do not contact both a DE counselor and your DE professor to request a withdrawal;
either one is sufficient.

The final withdrawal deadline for regular term and second start classes is November 6, 2008
at 4:30pm. Classes of other duration (mini-term, flex-entry, 8-weeks, etc.) may have different
final withdrawal deadlines. Please visit the online registration calendars or contact the HCC
Registrar’s Office to determine class withdrawal deadlines.


Student Services

DISTANCE EDUCATION ADVISING AND COUNSELING SERVICES:
Much DE student information can be found on the DE Student Services website:
www.de.hccs.edu. Advising or counseling can be accomplished by telephone at 713/718-5275 -
option # 4 or via email at decounseling@hccs.edu. Student Services Associates (SSA) and
Counselors can assist students with admissions, registration, entrance testing requirements,
degree planning, transfer issues, and career counseling. In-person, confidential sessions, can
also be scheduled, if necessary, as HCC counselors maintain a local referral base in order to
provide appropriate referrals to students with personal or family issues that may require long-
term solutions.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: International Students are restricted to ONLY ONE online/distance
education class per semester. Please contact the International Student Office at 713-718-8520
if you have additional questions about your visa status.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:
"Any student with a documented disability (e.g. physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing,
etc) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the appropriate HCC
Disability Support Service (DSS) Counselor at the beginning of each semester. Faculty is
authorized to provide only the accommodations requested by the
Disability Support Services Office.

Students who are requesting special testing accommodations must first contact the appropriate
(most convenient) DSS office for assistance:
Disability Support Services Offices:
System: 713.718.5165
Central: 713.718.6164 – also for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services and Students Outside of the
HCC District service areas.
Northwest: 713.718.5422
Northeast: 713.718.8420
Southeast: 713.718.7218
Southwest: 713.718.7909

After student accommodation letters have been approved by the DSS office and submitted to
DE Counseling for processing, students will receive an email confirmation informing them of the
Instructional Support Specialist assigned to their professor.

NOTICE FOR STUDENTS WHO LIVE OUTSIDE OF HOUSTON: Students who live or work outside
the Houston area and cannot take paper exams at one of our HCC testing locations MUST make
arrangements for a proctor. Please see the DE Student Services Additional Resources webpage
for more information.

VIRTUAL CLASSROOM CONDUCT: As with on-campus classes, all students in HCC Distance
Education courses are required to follow all HCC Policies & Procedures, the Student Code of
Conduct, the Student Handbook, and relevant sections of the Texas Education Code when
interacting and communicating in a virtual classroom with faculty and fellow students. Students
who violate these policies and guidelines will be subject to disciplinary action that could include
denial of access to course-related email, discussion groups, and chat rooms or being removed
from the class.

USE OF CAMERAS OR RECORDING DEVICES:
Use of recording devices, including camera phones and tape recorders, is prohibited in
classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices, and other locations where instruction, tutoring, or
testing occurs. Students with disabilities who need to use a recording device as a reasonable
accommodation should contact the Office for Students with Disabilities for information
regarding reasonable accommodations.

				
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