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WVNCC to Offer Online Degrees

Posted 06/05/14

Students can earn a degree online beginning with the Fall 2014 semester at West Virginia Northern Community College.

When classes start on Aug. 25, WVNCC will offer the following online degree programs:
· Associate in Arts General
· Associate in Science
· Associate in Applied Science, Business Administration, Business Studies
· Certificate in Applied Science, Small Business Management-Business Career Studies
· Certificate in Applied Science, Computer Information Technology-Microsoft Applications

Kim Patterson is instructional designer/distance education coordinator at West Virginia Northern Community College and has been in the forefront of planning and implementing several new online degree programs to be offered in the upcoming fall semester.Northern is the only two-year institution in the Upper Ohio Valley offering programs leading to a degree that can be completed totally online. In addition to the fully online degree programs, students also may choose from a variety of degree programs that can be completed utilizing a combination of online and traditional coursework. Students also can choose to take individual online courses to add flexibility and convenience to their academic schedule.

Dr. Vicki Riley, vice president of academic affairs at Northern, said she is pleased the college is able to provide online degree options, particularly the associate in arts, general, and the associate in science which are transfer programs. These degrees, she said, will transfer seamlessly to four-year institutions for students seeking a bachelor’s degree.

“Not only do these online degree options provide flexibility, they enable students to save money through the community college’s low tuition for the first two years of their college careers,” Riley said.

According to Kim Patterson, Northern’s instructional designer/distance education coordinator, potential online students need to be fully aware of the skills and equipment required for an online education.

Patterson pointed out that for a self-di­rected, motivated, independent learner, online courses may work very well. “In fact,” she added, “students who may be reluctant to participate in a regular classroom setting may be ‘vocal’ in an online chat or discussion group.”

Students need to be aware of their study skills and habits. “You should not enroll in an online class thinking it’s going to be easy. An online course may take more time than a traditional class, and some students say they find online courses more difficult,” she explained.

Patterson tells potential students to seek further information about Northern’s online degrees by clicking on the Online Programs/Courses button at the top of the Northern website homepage at

Northern has offered numerous courses online for several years and also schedules what are known as “hybrid” courses. Patterson said, “Some students require some flexibility along with classroom participation and that’s when a hybrid learning environment is indicated.”

In a hybrid course, a significant part of the learning is online with reduced time in the classroom. Of course, Patterson emphasized, “Both the on-campus and online components require full participation. Students are expected to attend the scheduled on-campus class sessions and complete work on the online course site.”

Patterson can be contacted by email at or by phone at 304-214-8907.