SCC paving high-tech roads for information highway

By: From Sampson Community College

From Sampson Community College

Lew Gravis, director of Distance Learning at Sampson Community College, tests the controls of SCC’s newly acquired equipment. Gravis, director of Distance Learning at Sampson Community College, tests the controls of SCC’s newly acquired equipment.

Anyone who lives in Sampson County, knows that Sampson Community College is dedicated to providing the community with top-notch educational offerings but what some students may not realize when they first come through the doors is that SCC’s reach goes way beyond the classrooms located on its campus.

Sampson Community College offers what are known as NCVIP courses, short for North Carolina Video over Internet Protocol. These are many times referred to as Information Highway courses.

The NCVIP classroom environment is different from that of the traditional classroom. The NCVIP room is equipped with cameras, ceiling microphones, and speakers that relay audio and video to one or more remote sites. If an instructor is at a remote location, the interaction is very different. It is similar to a telephone call in which you can see the person to whom you are speaking. Typically there is a one- to two-second delay in the transmission of SCC’s audio and video signals.

SCC has made the commitment to broadening its students stretch down the Info Highway by making several significant upgrades to this unique learning environment. Over the summer, SCC’s upgrades included a classroom improved by HDTVs which allows for crystal clear connections and faster response times. It also allows for accommodating different types of content faster and eliminates the need for certain settings to be changed manually.

Overall, the new equipment will lead itself for a better NCVIP classroom experience for students and faculty alike.

“The NCVIP courses are an innovative way for Sampson Community College to expand the courses offerings that are available to our students,” said Dr. Paul Hutchins, president of SCC. “The upgrades that have occurred this summer provide an enhancement that will make student learning through NCVIP courses even better at the College.”

SCC offers several different types of these courses that it doesn’t normally have enough local faculty to teach here. In this type of classroom setting, the students sit in a dedicated classroom with the appropriate high tech equipment and receive instruction from another site. The interaction is live and real time. The biggest benefit is that students can take classes not typically offered at SCC instead of having to enroll in them at another community college.

Additionally, SCC also employs on-site faculty that offer NCVIP courses that are received by other North Carolina community colleges as well.

Lew Gravis, director of Distance Learning at SCC is excited about the new upgrades.

“Anything we can do to enhance the learning experience and take potential barriers from in front of a student is great,” said Gravis.

Students have already begin preparing for fall semester at SCC in anticipation of the college’s fall registration coming up on Aug. 12 and 13. Students are urged to call 910-592-8084 with questions about programs of interest or the registration process.