A new type of virtual college experience is emerging at Vance-Granville Community College, with the “Vanguard Online Learning through Technology,” or VOLT, initiative.
Marking a new chapter in the college’s history of offering distance education, VOLT is now accepting its first students, who will start their courses when VGCC’s fall semester begins on Aug. 17. According to VGCC Director of Distance Education Evelyn Harris, VOLT courses are for adult learners who need an online-only educational experience. “VOLT will significantly enhance our ability to serve students in the online setting,” Harris said. “The mission of this initiative is to optimize technology to provide high-quality, affordable, accessible and effective instructional opportunities through online learning.”
VOLT will begin with four two-year programs — Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Medical Office Administration – Coding Specialist, and Global Logistics and Distribution Management Technology — through which students will be able to earn their associate’s degrees completely online. Advances in technology will allow many of the courses to be more interactive than those offered in the past.
Harris said that VOLT students will enjoy several specific benefits, including priority registration and guaranteed course availability. They will also have access to many online resources that are available to all VGCC students, such as library services, testing and the Bookstore. VOLT students will also have an academic and career coach, John Hall, devoted to helping them.
VGCC has years of experience in offering courses online, Harris noted. “The greatest benefit for the VOLT student is a quality, affordable education from a proven institution that allows the graduate to focus on his or her future rather than the debt that can come from some for-profit educational services,” she said. Harris added that VOLT classes will appeal to “the dedicated, driven adult who is seeking a two-year degree but doesn’t have the time for the traditional classroom.”
Gwen Moore of Oxford, a stay-at-home mother of two, recently became the very first enrolled VOLT student. “I enrolled in VOLT because I did not want to spend any more time away from my kids than I had to,” Moore said. “It is very convenient to continue my education in the comfort of my own home on a schedule that works for me.” Moore is pursuing an associate degree in Business Administration as she gets into the job market. “I am looking to separate myself from other applicants and possibly one day manage a business,” she said.
In the past, Moore has taken traditional face-to-face classes at VGCC and online classes elsewhere. She prefers the online setting but, after researching, she found that the online school she attended was not worth the high tuition. VGCC was recently recognized for offering one of the most affordable online associate degree programs in the United States by BestColleges.com.
In addition, Duke Energy, a longtime corporate supporter of VGCC, is helping to support the launch of the initiative by providing funds for scholarships specifically for VOLT students.
For more information about VOLT, visit volt.vgcc.edu or call Evelyn Harris at (252) 738-3254 or John Hall at (252) 738-3228.