Adults interested in obtaining the first two years of a four-year degree completely online will have a new option this fall at Vance-Granville Community College.
The “Vanguard Online Learning through Technology” (VOLT) initiative at VGCC is entering its third year in operation and preparing to add the Associate in Science degree program to its offerings in August. VOLT courses are for adult learners who need an online-only educational experience.
VGCC already offers another College Transfer degree, the Associate in Arts, in VOLT, along with degrees in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Medical Office Administration – Coding Specialist, and Global Logistics and Distribution Management Technology.
The Associate in Science (A.S.) program provides students with an excellent foundation for bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, mathematics, and the natural sciences. Meanwhile, the Associate in Arts (A.A.) is ideal for students who want to pursue bachelor’s degrees in communication, education, humanities, fine arts, languages, and social and behavioral sciences.
Graduates of either degree who make a grade of “C” or better in every course are assured of admission into one of the 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system, usually transferring in with junior ranking.
In the past few 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 both A.A. and A.S. graduates.
Registration for the fall semester is currently ongoing, and ends on Aug. 10.
The planned program of study calls for VOLT Associate in Science 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 one or two courses each.
Other courses in the degree come from disciplines such as Biology, Geology, Sociology, History, Humanities and Physics. 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.
“The VOLT Associate in Science program provides another opportunity to meet the educational needs of students who prefer to complete their entire degree online,” said Cynthia Young, VGCC’s dean of arts and sciences. “Our experienced, innovative Arts and Sciences instructors utilize a variety of instructional strategies to engage students. Graduates are well-prepared with an excellent educational foundation as they transfer to four-year institutions to earn bachelor’s degrees, because our programs are not only affordable and convenient but also high in quality.”
VOLT began with a small number of courses in 2015 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 addition, Duke Energy, a longtime corporate supporter of VGCC, has provided funds for scholarships specifically for VOLT students.
Last year, Vance-Granville was recognized as the top two-year college in North Carolina for online programs by the national organization Accredited Schools Online (ASO).
For more information about VOLT, visit volt.vgcc.edu or call Evelyn Harris at (252) 738-3254 or Melanie Copeland at (252) 738-3271.
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