23 January, 2017
Affordable Colleges Online, a leading resource for online learning and college affordability information, has named Gadsden State Community the top online community college in the state of Alabama.
Affordable Colleges Online is a resource for students seeking an online program for a degree. It ranks four-year and two-year institutions by state with Gadsden State earning the No. 1 position in Alabama.
“We wanted to highlight the schools in each state that are driving innovative learning and meeting demands of our students,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and founder of Affordable Colleges Online. “These schools are not only offering great programs, but they have expanded their program excellence to the much-desired online environment.”
In order for colleges to qualify for the ranking, it must be a public or private not-for-profit accredited institution. Ranked schools must offer at least three online associate degree programs with an annual tuition fee less than $5,000.
Qualifying colleges were evaluated based on the:
- Published tuition and fees for in-state students
- The percentage of full-time and first-time students receiving institutional financial aid
- The number of online programs offered for two-year degrees or certificates
- Student-to-teacher ratio
- Average amount of institutional aid received
“I congratulate our faculty and staff for earning the distinction of having the No. 1 online program among Alabama community colleges,” said Dr. Martha Lavender, president of Gadsden State. “It is a convenient option for our students who perform better in their comfort zones or have a busy schedule. Our online courses are a great advantage for our students.”
According to a recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics, 16 percent of all Alabama students are enrolled exclusively in distance education. Gadsden State had over 1,200 students taking online courses during the fall semester. Eighty-seven courses, such as Principles of Biology, Business Communication, Systems Analysis and Design and US History, are offered through Gadsden State’s Teaching and Learning Center (formerly “e-learning”).
“Our faculty delivers high-quality instruction to our online students,” said Derrick Griffey, director of the Teaching and Learning Center. “Students want options when it comes to online learning. Not only do we try to give students the options that they’re looking for, but our faculty ensure that the product that students receive online is of the same content and quality as the traditional classroom. Also, to enhance the quality of the online learning experience that students receive, we offer a variety of software applications that puts Gadsden State’s distance learning programs on the cutting edge.”
Gadsden State was followed on the list by Wallace Community College-Selma; Snead State Community College; Lurleen B. Wallace Community College; Wallace State Community College-Hanceville; Bevill State Community College; Jefferson State Community College; Northwest Shoals Community College and Calhoun State Community College.
For more information on Gadsden State’s online programs, go to www.gadsdenstate.edu/elearning/distance-learning.