General Info

Different Types of Distance Education (DE) Classes

Distance education classes are classes in which the instructor is separated from students by distance, time, or both.  Currently, the University of Hawai‘i system offers three types of DE classes.

Online Classes

Online classes are taught independent of time and location.  Students meet and communicate with their classmates and instructor through email and/or the World Wide Web.  Online classes are taught using Laulima (the University of Hawai‘i’s online course management Web site), and students are required to have access to a computer with reliable Internet connection. 

Cable Television Classes

Cable television classes are delivered over public access television channels throughout the State of Hawai‘i.  Classes can be broadcast live or taped, and may also include an Internet component such as email or a website for additional instruction and materials. To receive cable classes, you must have access to or subscribe to Oceanic Time Warner Cable (not available on satellite TV). On the Big Island, UH cable classes are broadcast on EDUTV channel 354, UHTV channel 355 and/or UHVOD channel 358.

Basic or Standard OTW subscribers:
Contact the Oceanic Cable Customer Service Center at (808) 643-2100 to find out how to get a digital cable box free of charge for so long as you maintain your existing analog service subscription. Some restrictions apply.
That own an HD Television with a QAM tuner - may view UHTV ch. 355 on QAM ch. 46.55 (ch. 27.55 for Maui County), EDUTV ch. 354 on QAM ch. 46.54, MCTV ch. 354 on QAM ch. 27.54

Interactive Television (ITV) Classes

ITV classes are much like traditional face-to-face classes.  ITV courses meet at a designated time and location, except that the instructor and students are located in different locations.  Using video conferencing technology, they can see and hear each other, creating a traditional classroom-like environment.  ITV courses may also include an Internet component such as email or a Web site for additional instruction and materials.  Students must be able to meet at the designated time and location to attend class.  Refer to specific class information to see where and when ITV classes are held.

Is DE for you?

DE classes will give you more flexibility in scheduling your classes. However, taking DE classes will require a higher level of self-discipline and motivation from you, and your ability to communicate with your instructor is essential. 

To help you decide if distance education is right for you, there are several questions you should ask yourself before enrolling in a DE class:

  • Do I like learning on a computer or by television?
  • Am I comfortable with using technology?
  • Am I self-disciplined enough to follow lessons on my own?
  • Will I be comfortable if I don't see the instructor in person?
  • Do I have good study habits?

Also, keep in mind that DE classes will:

  1. Take as much time as regular classes.
  2. Require a good amount of reading.
  3. Require you to be organized to keep track of dates and assignments.
  4. May require some on-campus time for orientations, review sessions, and exams.

Still not sure?  Take the DE Self-Assessment to help you decide.

What Classes are Available?

The University of Hawai‘i is committed to providing distance education opportunities to allow students access to quality higher education in the State of Hawai‘i.  Working towards this goal, the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges (UHCC) are working together and are offering their DE courses to students from any UHCC campus.

This means, as a Hawai‘i Community College (Hawai‘iCC) student, you can register for a DE class offered through your home campus, or through any of the other six UHCC campuses (Honolulu, Kapiolani, Leeward, Windward, Maui, and Kauai), as long as you meet the course and program requirements for that class.  However, you should check with your counselor or the Admissions and Records Office if you have questions or special circumstances (i.e., you only want to take DE classes, have questions about credit transferability).  You should also check with the Financial Aid office if you are receiving financial aid.

Your home campus will provide you with student and academic support services, including academic advising, registration, financial aid, and computer support.

To see what classes are being offered, view the DE Course Listing.  When choosing a DE class, be sure to look for any specific technical requirements the class might have.  Also, be sure to click on the class title to view the syllabus for important class information. Instructors may have special notes and/or requirements regarding their classes.

NOTE: If you are an international student with a F-1 visa, you may enroll in distance education courses only if you are enrolled full-time at your home campus.  Check with the Admissions Office and/or counselor at your home campus for further information.

Registration Process

Once you have chosen a DE class to take and have determined that you meet all of the requirements for the course, your next step is to register for the course.

Registration is done through MyUH, and registering for a DE course is done in the same way you would register for a regular Hawai‘iCC class:

  1. Log in to MyUH, and navigate to Add/Drop Courses.
  2. Select the appropriate term.
  3. Under institution, select the school that is offering the course.
  4. Enter the CRN number for the course.
  5. Click on the Submit Changes button.

Your home campus (Hawai‘iCC) will provide you with student and academic support services, including academic advising, registration, financial aid.


  1. If you are receiving financial aid from Hawai‘i Community College, please read the Financial Aid section below.
  2. If you plan to take a class from another campus, you are encouraged to meet and discuss this with a counselor to make sure the class will transfer and apply to your degree requirements.

Financial Aid Information

If you are receiving financial aid, or are applying for financial aid, contact and work with the Financial Aid Office at Hawai‘i Community College. 

If you have been awarded financial aid from Hawai‘i Community College and are interested in taking a DE class, you may be able to apply your financial aid award to that class. However, you must meet certain requirements, and you should check with the Financial Aid Office before registering for the class.

Hawai‘i Community College
Financial Aid Office
Manono Campus Bldg. 379A
Phone: (808) 934-2712
Web site: Hawai‘iCC Financial Aid

Textbook Information

Textbook information is available about three weeks before classes begin at the host campus bookstore website.

Books for Hawai‘iCC DE classes can be purchased at the UH-Hilo Bookstore.  Books for non-Hawai‘iCC DE classes may be purchased through the hostcampus bookstore by one of the following options:

  • In person at the host campus bookstore.
  • Ordered online through the host campus' bookstore website.  When you order online, you will have the option of having the books mailed to your home or book pick-up at the host campus bookstore.  Book pick-up is only available during the weeks the book list is posted. Pick-up option will be removed from the website the Wednesday before school starts.
  • Ordered by phone at 1-800-UHBOOKS (1-800-842-6657) through the UH Manoa Bookstore Ecommerce Department.  This option is for those unable to purchase online or travel to the host campus bookstore.  Orders received will be forwarded on to the respective campus’ bookstore for order processing.  Please have your course information and your credit card available when you call.

Visit the UH Distance Learning Outreach Bookstore Web page for more information.

Equipment and Skill Requirements

Equipment and skill requirements vary by the type of DE class you are taking, as well as by class and instructor.  When viewing DE classes on the DE Course Listing site, be sure to look for any specific technical requirements the class might have.  Also, be sure to click on the title of the course to view the syllabus for additional course information.  Instructors may have special notes and/or requirements regarding their classes.

Access to a computer with reliable Internet access is required, especially for online classes.  Visit the UH Information Technology Services Web site for more information regarding the minimum requirements for computer hardware.

Also, be aware that taking DE classes will often require you to use common word processing and presentation software (e.g., Word, PowerPoint), email, and the Internet to communicate, complete and submit course requirements.