The “Vanguard Online Learning through Technology” (VOLT) initiative at Vance-Granville Community College is entering its second year in operation and preparing to add a new program option. VOLT courses are for adult learners who need an online-only educational experience. When the fall semester begins in August, such students will be able to start work on an Associate in Arts degree.
The program provides students with the first two years of a four-year degree. Associate in Arts graduates who make a grade of “C” or better in every course are guaranteed admission into one of the 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system, usually transferring in with junior ranking.
In the past two years, the comprehensive articulation agreements between all North Carolina community colleges, the UNC System and the private N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities have been revised with clearer pathways, simplifying the transfer of credits for Associate in Arts graduates.
Registration for the fall semester is currently ongoing, and ends on July 29.
The planned program of study calls for VOLT Associate in Arts students to take four college transfer courses during their first semester: one each in English and Math, plus Art Appreciation and Introduction to Computers. Students will complete the 61-credit-hour degree over six semesters under the plan, including two summer terms in which they will take two courses each.
Other courses in the degree come from disciplines such as Sociology, Spanish, Business, History, Humanities, Physics and Biology. These are the equivalents of the same required general education courses that students would take if they were freshmen or sophomores at most four-year universities.
“VOLT provides an affordable and convenient opportunity to meet the educational needs of students who prefer to complete their entire program of study online,” said Cynthia Young, VGCC’s dean of arts and sciences. “Students are taught by dedicated VGCC Arts and Sciences instructors, who utilize a variety of instruction strategies to engage students. Students are well-prepared with an excellent educational foundation as they transfer to four-year institutions to earn bachelor’s degrees. Vance-Granville has offered many college transfer courses online in the past, but VOLT represents an exciting new expansion of our online offerings to meet a growing demand.”
VGCC launched VOLT in August of 2015 with four two-year degree programs — Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Medical Office Administration – Coding Specialist, and Global Logistics and Distribution Management Technology. VOLT began with a small number of courses and has grown steadily since then. Students are able to earn their associate’s degrees 100-percent online through VOLT. Advances in technology allow many of the courses to be more interactive than those offered in the past.
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. VOLT students also have an academic and career coach devoted to helping them, just as traditional on-campus students do.
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 2015, VGCC was 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, 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.