When it comes to online or distance-learning classes, Washtenaw Community College is counted among the best in the nation.

WCC recently was ranked among the top 50 “Best Value” online community colleges in the nation by Value Colleges, an organization that rates programs at colleges and universities across the nation. Value Colleges narrowed the field of 1,700 community colleges to include institutions with more than 10 online programs, more than 2,000 students and under $10,000 in annual tuition costs. Evaluation criteria were based on a formula that included tuition costs, graduation rates and the number of online programs offered.

Online classes are among the fastest growing offerings at colleges across the country, including WCC. They provide the convenience and flexibility needed for working adults to increase their credentials and pursue their career goals while also holding jobs and raising families.

“We in the Center for Interactive Teaching & Learning at WCC were honored to receive this acknowledgment,” said Peter Baccile, WCC’s Senior Director of E-Learning, Distance Learning. “This is a testament to our development team working in collaboration with faculty developers. We have a simple focus of ‘Rigor, Engagement and the WCC Experience’ incorporated into each course design.”

Baccile noted that the college only a year and a half ago launched a strategic plan to grow online programs. Today there are 213 classes offered with more than 5,200 students enrolled in the 2016 Winter term alone.

He stressed the teamwork that cut across many departments and disciplines that took place made the online program succeed. Academic deans and faculty, Students Services, Finance, IT and Marketing were all pulled together in the effort to provide first-rate programs, he said.