DOBSON — AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org (ASO), a leading resource for online learning and college accreditation information, has released its annual rankings for the 2015-2016 Best Online Colleges in the nation, and Surry Community College was ranked seventh in North Carolina for the “Best Online Colleges in the Nation.”
ASO ranked schools had to meet a number of criteria and metrics. Colleges had to offer an Associates degree or higher; be a public or private, not-for-profit institution; and offer at least one fully online degree program.
“We wanted to highlight schools, like Surry Community College, that have made it a point to ensure academic quality standards through accreditation,” said Doug Jones, CEO and founder of Accredited Schools Online. “These schools are not only offering exceptional programs, but they have expanded their program’s excellence to the much-desired online environment.”
Surry Community College offers eight degrees and six certificates totally online. The online degree programs include: Associate in Arts, Accounting, Advertising & Graphic Design Technology, Business Administration, Criminal Justice Technology, Early Childhood Associate, Medical Office Administration, and Office Administration. The online certificate programs offered by SCC are: Accounting, Advertising & Graphic Design, Business Administration, Infant/Toddler Care, Medical Office Administration and Office Administration.
Dr. Candace Holder is the vice president of Technology at Surry Community College. She provides oversight for Surry’s online learning program and ensures teachers have the technology resources needed to instruct students and for the students to excel in the online classroom.
“At Surry Community College, we strive to make the online learning environment as effective as the traditional face-to-face setting. Each online program follows the same program of study as the traditional model,” Holder said. “Online learning provides students with an opportunity to take classes and earn a degree that they might not have otherwise. Many of these students would not be able to go back to school without the opportunity to take classes online. Online classes are more flexible with a student’s work schedule and family life.”
Courses and programs offered online require the same number of hours for completion and cover the same learning outcomes as courses and programs offered through on campus.
“This means there is no difference in an online degree versus the traditional seated degree,” Holder said. “The degree or certificate earned online is the same value as the seated degree or certificate.”
Students desiring to complete a degree completely online should submit an admission application on www.surry.edu and choose the online degree program code when registering for classes after first meeting with their advisor.
According to a recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics, 12.5 percent of students, nationwide, are enrolled exclusively in distance education courses.
“I worked on my degree from home, but I still had all the resources of Surry Community College,” said Brad Easter, a recent SCC graduate. “I felt like I was a part of Surry even though I was not on campus.”
ASO has distinguished its ranking scale by the use of Peer-Based Value or PBV. The PBV score compares the cost of each program to the cost of similar programs with the same qualitative score.
Surry Community College will begin enrollment for summer and fall classes starting March 21 for current students and March 28 for new students. For information about enrolling in online classes or traditional seated classes, contact Student Services at 336-386-3264.