Vance-Granville Community College was recently recognized as the top two-year college in North Carolina for online programs, and, in a separate ranking, was named one of the top five two-year colleges in the state for the second year in a row.
In its list of the “Best Online Schools in North Carolina for 2015-2016,” the California-based organization, Accredited Schools Online (ASO), ranked VGCC first among all of the state's two-year institutions of higher learning.
“Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) is one of North Carolina's leaders in providing individual online courses, as well as fully-online degree programs,” ASO wrote in a summary on its website, www.accreditedschoolsonline.org. “Students are afforded the opportunity to complete course work in a way that meets today's demanding schedules and fulfills the educational requirements of this challenging economy. For many students, a degree from VGCC is the first step to a four-year college or university degree. While online courses offer convenience, they are fully as comprehensive as on-campus courses and create unique challenges for students. Self-motivation, the ability to follow instructions, and basic computer skills are crucial for the successful distance learner.”
Accredited Schools Online is a comprehensive accreditation resource that provides prospective students and families with the tools needed to make well-informed decisions about their education.
ASO's rankings took into account a number of factors, including the number of online programs and subject areas available, the percentage of students receiving financial aid, the academic/career counseling services offered, the cost of tuition, and the student-to-faculty ratio, which in VGCC's case was 14 to 1. ASO awarded VGCC a score of 99.56 out of a possible 100.
“Vance-Granville continues to gain national recognition for excellence, thanks to the efforts of our innovative faculty and staff,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, president of VGCC. “We have taken a leading role in expanding opportunities for distance learning programs that are affordable, accessible and high-quality. Whether they take their classes online or on-campus, our Vanguards receive an outstanding educational experience that prepares them to achieve professional and personal success.”
VGCC has expanded its online course offerings in recent years. In 2015, the college launched the VOLT (Vanguard Online Learning through Technology) initiative, primarily with working adults in mind. Through VOLT, five two-year degree programs are now offered 100-percent online — Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Medical Office Administration - Coding Specialist, and Global Logistics and Distribution Management Technology. In addition, students can take online courses in combination with traditional face-to-face courses to complete any VGCC degree program. The fall semester begins on Aug. 15.
VOLT students enjoy several specific benefits, including priority registration and guaranteed course availability. They also have access to many online resources that are available to all VGCC students, such as library services, testing and the Bookstore. Courses offered through VOLT have the same low tuition as all other VGCC courses, making them more affordable than their counterparts at for-profit institutions. In addition, Duke Energy, a longtime corporate supporter of VGCC, has provided funds for scholarships specifically for VOLT students.
For more information about VOLT, visit volt.vgcc.edu or call Evelyn Harris at (252) 738-3254, Kathy Wolford at (252) 738-3335 or Melanie Copeland at (252) 738-3271.
Meanwhile, VGCC was also recognized by BestColleges.com for the second consecutive year as one of the top five two-year colleges in North Carolina.
Just as in 2015, VGCC came in fifth on the list, in which BestColleges.com ranked the top 25 two-year and top 25 four-year schools in North Carolina.
The BestColleges.com website notes that VGCC “offers a broad range of subjects" and goes on to highlight VGCC’s technological resources for students, including the Moodle learning management system for online courses, software like Microsoft Office 365, which is available to all students free of charge, and the college’s mobile app.
The organization’s school assessments start by regarding every college and university equally, no matter their size or brand popularity. Rankings are then determined based on acceptance, enrollment, retention, graduation and loan default rates. The last criterion is an indication of post-graduation employment, since those who have found work are less likely to default on their loans.
Texas-based BestColleges.com was founded in 2012 with the mission of helping prospective students find the college that best meets their needs. Visitors to BestColleges.com can find the tools and resources to succeed throughout their higher education career. Those in the college planning stage can take advantage of college rankings, a searchable database of schools, and financial planning guides.