Germanna Community College’s College Everywhere, an accelerated program that allows students to earn a two-year degree in one year, continues to thrive as students return back to in-person classes.
When the pandemic hit, President Dr. Janet Gullickson said it presented an opportunity to be innovative and "disruptive," trying new things online.
"We have to do something differently in order to help students progress," Germanna's vice president of academic affairs and workforce development Dr. Shashuna Gray said as she, Gullickson and other Germanna leaders brainstormed.
GCC went nearly completely online early in the pandemic and that decision led to the college being one of few in the nation to see enrollment increases over the past year and a half.
As many Germanna students returned to taking classes in person, GCC decided not to pull the plug on online learning.
Gray said research shows that it typically takes a community college student seven years to earn a two-year degree because so many have full time jobs and many are also working parents.
The degree program, where students take one very accelerated course at a time, has a total of 36 certified courses.
According to data from Germanaa, 68% of College Everywhere students earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0-4.0 in the fall semester.
Of the other students attending Germanna, 55% fell into that range. Of College Everywhere students 90% received an A, B, C, satisfactory or pass, compared to 73% of the other students.
All courses are Quality Matters certified meaning they have met QM Standards at a level of 85% or greater in an official review process.
Germanna is the top Virginia Community College System community college with the most Quality Matters certified courses and ranks number five internationally.