What Is Online Learning?

The following instructional method codes and definitions are related to distance education at Housatonic Community College:

  • ONLN: A course in which 100% of instruction occurs online
  • HYBR:: A course in which instruction occurs through a regular blend of online and face-to-face instruction.
  • OLCR:: A course in which 100% of instruction occurs online; students are required to meet on-campus for a pre-determined number of meetings

Please note that most traditional, face-to-face courses are coded as “TRAD” and are web-enhanced to some degree. These courses may be web enhanced with online components, but those online components do not regularly substitute for traditional face-to-face meetings. Students are, however, expected to check the LMS for course assignments in the event of class cancelation or school closing.

Is Online Learning Right For Me?

Take this quiz to find out! Students who perform well in online classes are often:

  • Technologically savvy and flexible, and able to quickly adapt to new technologies.
  • Self-motivated and independent, while able to work effectively in groups.
  • Aware that online learning requires a knack for time management, and that the flexibility of online learning does not equate to “easier” learning.
  • Good communicators, and able to communicate well in writing.

Students who perform well in online classes must have:

  • Internet connection
  • Computer with modern operating system and multiple, updated web browsers. We recommend:

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) & Student Complaints

CT State Office of Higher Education SARA Portal: http://www.ctohe.org/SARA/Default.shtml

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Website: https://www.nc-sara.org

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Student Questions Page: https://www.nc-sara.org/studentquestions


Complaints about Connecticut Independent Colleges, Postsecondary Career Schools, and SARA Institutions
The Office of Higher Education is responsible for quality review of independent colleges and the regulation of postsecondary career schools located in Connecticut. As a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), the Office also is responsible for the investigation and resolution of out-of-state students' complaints against all institutions of higher education based in Connecticut and offering distance education via SARA.

If you believe that HCC has not fulfilled its promises while operating under SARA, you may file a complaint with the Office of Higher Education. We will investigate complaints concerning matters within our statutory authority and, if justified, take appropriate action. Generally, issues falling under our jurisdiction involve academic quality and licensing; issues regarding student life (such as student discipline, grading and housing) fall solely within the purview of institutions. The Office of Higher Education will act only on complaints that were unable to be resolved through the institution’s internal dispute resolution process. Our agency cannot provide legal advice.

Filing a Complaint with the Office of Higher Education
Before contacting the Office of Higher Education, you must first exhaust the school’s internal grievance or complaint procedures. These policies are published in the HCC Catalog and Student Handbook, and are included above. Once you have pursued your concerns using the HCC’s procedures, and have not reached a mutually agreeable resolution, you may proceed with filing a formal complaint with the Office of Higher Education. To do so, complete an Initial Review form and send it to or mail it to the address at the top of the form.

Licensure vary by state. For more information about licensure, please visit State Authorizations and Disclosures.