Online Learning Policies and Resources

Be aware of the policies and procedures that differ with online learning (online/hybrid) courses compared to traditional courses. You will find these below:

HEOA Compliance

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires institutions offering distance education courses or programs have processes in place to ensure that the student registering for a course is the same student who participates in the course or receives course credit. The HEOA requires institutions to verify the identity of a student who participates in class or coursework by using methods such as:

  • A secure login and pass code;
  • Proctored examinations; and
  • New or other technologies and practices effective in verifying student identity.

Additionally, the HEOA requires Greenville Technical College to use processes that protect student privacy and notify students of any projected additional student charges associated with the verification of student identity at the time of registration or enrollment.

GTC NetID: Secure Login and Pass Code

GTC meets the HEOA requirements by assigning each student a GTC NetID; a secure login and password to access the college Learning Management System and the GTC4ME - College Portal. All students registering for a course through our administrative system are assigned unique identification numbers, which correspond with a specific username for each student. These usernames or accounts use Active Directory (AD) to authenticate the user. Each student manages their password using the GTC4ME Password link Portal.  Access the Computer Security and Responsible Use Password Policy (pdf).

In addition, the GTC email usage policy requires all faculty communication with students regarding GTC educational records and specific courses be conducted via the official GTC GMail account, which also requires a secure login. Access the GTC Computer Usage and Email Policy (pdf).

More information about the Higher Education Opportunity Act, can be found at The U.S. Department of Education site: .


Online Learning Privacy

All students enrolled at Greenville Technical College (GTC), regardless of the mode of instruction (traditional, online, or hybrid), are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). As published in the GTC Catalog and Handbook, on the GTC website, and GTC4me, FERPA was designed to protect the privacy of educational records including those of online learners. Online learning students will find information regarding this protection via the GTC website (FERPA) and the Online Learning Orientation.

At GTC students log in to a secure portal (GTC4me) using a GTC user ID and password. All enrolled students are authenticated through an identity management system that provides each student with a unique username and password for access to the portal as well as the learning management system, Blackboard. Instructions for student login to Blackboard are posted on the Blackboard login page.

Students should never be asked or required to disclose passwords to their accounts to any college employee or to other students. Each student manages their password using the GTC4me password link (password reset). Students and employees are expected to comply with college responsible use policies found at the Computer Security and Responsible Use Password Policy.

The GTC email usage policy requires all faculty communication with students regarding GTC educational records and specific courses be conducted via the official GTC Gmail account, which also requires a secure login (Access the GTC Computer Usage and Email Policy (pdf).

Additional policies


Attendance and participation are necessary for academic success. The student’s record of attendance will begin on the first day of the course, even if registration occurs after the course has begun. Students are expected to attend and complete all scheduled instructional activities, both in class and online. 

A student may withdraw from any course up to the published deadline. If the student drops the course during the add/drop period, no course tuition will be charged. If a withdrawal occurs after the drop/add period, tuition charges will result. Ceasing to attend class does not constitute an official withdrawal from the course and may result in financial aid consequences. Refer to the Refund Policy for details.

Refer to your syllabus for attendance policy and other important information located within your course: you are required to log in according to your instructor’s schedule. Additional information regarding the attendance policy, removal from a course, or reinstatement in a course is in the Attendance Policies section of the Student Handbook.


Academic integrity means not sharing your username and/or password with anyone. Academic integrity means doing your own work, not cheating, providing sources when doing research, and not violating copyright. Each student is responsible for the academic integrity of all work completed for a given course.

Honesty in academic work is a central element of the learning environment. The presentation of another individual's work as one's own or the act of seeking unfair academic advantage through cheating, plagiarism or other dishonest means are violations of the College's Code of Conduct. Failure to abide by the terms and conditions of the Code of Conduct will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the College.

Greenville Technical College's policy regarding academic integrity is in the Student Code of Conduct section of the Student Handbook.


Plagiarism is defined as submitting any academic work which is not entirely the work of the student, deliberately or accidentally. This can include, but is not limited to, such practices as not giving proper credit to a source, expanding someone else's work without giving proper credit, adopting another's work as one's own (including the copying of print or electronic media), directly using someone else's ideas without giving proper credit, and deliberately changing selective words to misrepresent someone else's work as one's own.

There are serious consequences if plagiarism is found in your work. Not only could you receive an "F" in the class, you could be stripped of your degree!

Plagiarism can happen by mistake as well, but ignorance about plagiarism is no excuse. Plagiarism can be as simple as improperly citing sources!

Avoid Plagiarism by providing credit when you use another person's ideas, images, words, theories or other tangible works.

Always give credit where credit is due and cite your sources.


Many instructors use a small but powerful software to check work for Plagiarism called "Safe Assign". Within the Blackboard online course system, you may be prompted to turn your work in to Safe Assign. It scans your work and provides results as to how much information is your own and how much is that of others. If you have properly cited your sources, you will have little to worry about.


Cheating is defined as submitting assignments, examinations, or other work which is based on deception or misrepresentation of the individual's own work. Cheating includes the furnishing of materials to another person for purposes of aiding that person to gain unfair academic advantage.


The unauthorized reproduction or use of copyrighted material, whether print or electronic media, is unacceptable and considered an act of academic dishonesty. In addition, the violator may be subject to legal penalty since such practice is illegal.


The following penalties may be applied in instances of academic dishonesty:

  • A grade of "F" (Failure) may be awarded for the assignment in which academic dishonesty occurred or for the entire course regardless of the length of time the student has been in attendance. The grade of "F" will override or supersede any student-initiated withdrawal from the course.
  • Dismissal from the College may occur if a student is found to have committed an act of academic dishonesty. The length or time period of the dismissal will depend on the nature of the offense and may include permanent dismissal.
  • Legal measures may be taken by the College.


Greenville Technical College is committed to resolving student grievances, complaints and concerns in an expeditious, fair and amicable manner. Students who want to resolve a grievance should follow the College's Student Grievance Procedure as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Student Complaints related to institutional-specific concerns can submit an Institutional Complaint Form.

Students do have the option of filing a complaint concerning GTC’s Online Learning Programs with the appropriate authority in the state in which he/she resides. South Carolina students should refer to the SC CHE’s complaint procedures.


Students receiving financial assistance including grants and scholarships, make sure you are aware of all policies that affect your aid. Contact the Financial Aid Office for policies, or more information at (864) 250-8000. 


International students should contact the International Education Center before enrolling in an online course.


Students receiving veteran assistance, make sure you are aware of all policies that affect your benefits before enrolling in an online course. Contact the Veterans Affairs Office for policies, or more information at (864) 250-8000.

General Online Guidelines

Greenville Technical College makes every effort to create a sense of an online community. Positive climate building and considerate behavior can reduce anxiety about communicating online, and contribute to a positive collegial environment.

  • Positive climate building can be developed by:
  • Use of first names by participants in salutations and closing of communication.
  • Responding promptly to messages.
  • Use of personalizing remarks.
  • Avoiding hostile or curt comments. No objectionable, sexist, or racist language will be tolerated.
  • Displaying humor.
  • Promoting cooperation by offering assistance and support to other participants and by sharing ideas.

Do's and Don'ts:

  • Do not share your username and/or password with anyone.
  • Demonstrating courtesy online is fundamental. (Absolutely no abusive or libelous comments will be permitted.)
  • Use only your real first and last name online.
  • Confidentiality: No one else should be given access to any of the conferences (either viewing onscreen or in print), without the previous consent of all participants and conferees.
  • Copyright & Plagiarism: Don't use the words or text of others without proper acknowledgement of the source unless you first have the author's permission.
  • The use of humor can be very tricky; sometimes it is seen as sarcasm or derision rather than as funny. Symbols or parenthetic phrases (e.g., :-)or "ha! ha!") can help to convey emotional tone and help to prevent misunderstandings.