Online Education

Online education gives you the flexibility to take classes that fit your schedule and lifestyle. Online courses are a good choice for self-motivated, self-directed students who need a flexible course schedule. Whether it’s one course or an entire online program, Vol State can help you get where you need to go.

Vol State has many general education courses that are offered online. These are classes that apply to many different majors. You can check the semester class schedule for a listing of those classes. Individual majors may also have some online offerings.

Current students can talk about those options with their academic advisor or contact the Office of Advising. If you are new to Vol State, please contact the Admissions office.

SARA Institution Seal of Participation

Volunteer State Community College participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Is Online Right for You?

There can be a perception that online education is easier than traditional classroom learning. The reality is that online learning is just as challenging and often requires greater self-discipline. You may be a strong candidate for online learning if you can answer "yes" to questions like these:

  • Do I have regular access to a reliable computer with high-speed Internet?
  • Do I know how to create, save, and organize files on my computer?
  • Am I self-motivated and organized?
  • Do I manage my time well?
  • Am I able to dedicate 6 to 9 hours each week to studying for each online class?
  • Am I able to communicate well with others in writing?
  • Am I comfortable using reading and writing as my primary means of learning?
  • Am I comfortable seeking help when I need it?

The good news is that Vol State provides you with many free resources to help you develop the skills needed to be successful as an online student.

Course Formats 

Vol State offers several types of distance learning to serve you.

Course Delivery MethodPercent on CampusScheduled SessionsSame Room as FacultyDistance Learning Fee Charged
On-Site: Face-to Face100%YesYesNo
Virtual: Synchronous0% **YesNoNo
Online: Asynchronous0% **NoNoNo
Hybrid *VariesVaries




Online: TN eCampus0% **NoNoYes

*Hybrid courses are made up of two or more of the other delivery methods.

**In-person test proctoring is required for some classes. Test proctoring is provided at Vol State testing sites or may be arranged at an instructor-approved alternate testing site. Alternate sites may charge a fee to the student.

  • On-Site Face-to-Face– Traditional courses occurring in a classroom.
  • Virtual – Classes which use a videoconferencing service (for example, Zoom) to meet at an assigned time to deliver live instruction. These are labeled Virtual Class: Synchronous. You will be expected to log-in and participate in virtual classes at the schedule times. You will use eLearn to submit assignments and access additional materials. Our videoconferencing tools are free to students. Test proctoring may be required, see below.
  • Online – Fully online classes within eLearn. These are labeled Online: Asynchronous. Online courses are not to be confused with self-paced courses. Asynchronous means there are no assigned class times. However, your instructor will give you assignments and deadlines. As long as you complete assignments by the stated deadlines, you can do so during a time that works for your schedule. Test proctoring may be required, see below.
  • Hybrid – Some combination of the above three instructional methods. Use the Class Schedule link in the Vol State “Students” portion of the Vol State website to view scheduling details that may not be available in Schedule Planner.
  • TN eCampus – Just like Vol State online classes, these are asynchronous classes without a specific meeting date or time. The difference is that you’ll log in to participate at the TN eCampus D2L site and be participating with students from multiple colleges. There is also an additional fee for TN eCampus courses.

Test Proctoring

Some online, virtual, hybrid, or TN eCampus instructors may require test proctoring. You should check the course syllabus on the first day of class for proctoring requirements and instructions.

  • In person proctoring - must be completed within a specific timeframe on campus or at an instructor approved testing center. You will need to schedule testing appointments for your exams in advance.
  • Virtual proctoring - must be completed within a specific timeframe using digital monitoring tools. You will need to install and test software prior to your first exam.