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Aiken Technical College has been named one of the state's best online communities in a recent list.

Aiken Technical College's online education programs have been ranked among the best in the state – an honor, college officials believe, is an important distinction as they prepare for the fall semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to receive this recognition and I believe it demonstrates that our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing a quality education, regardless of mode of delivery,” said ATC President Dr. Forest Mahan in a news release. “Now, more than ever, colleges must adapt to new norms, including being innovative in the way we deliver education. Our college is well-prepared and has been a leader in this area.”

Aiken Tech was ranked No. 4 in the Optimal's Guide to Online School list of 2020's best online community colleges in the two-year college category.

Colleges that qualify for this list must be regionally accredited and offer at least one fully online associate degree.

Institutions were then ranked based on data such as graduate and retention rates, online enrollment, and available online degrees and courses.

Aiken Tech currently allows students to earn an Associate in Arts degree through completely online learning. The college has also expanded its number of online courses as a "safety precaution" due to the ongoing spread of coronavirus, according to the release.

Student support services, such as tutoring and coaching, are also offered remotely through the Student Success Center.

“Our student support services are available to students for free. Services such as tutoring and coaching help address obstacles students may be facing in being successful – whether academic or personal,” said Dr. S. Vinson Burdette, ATC vice president of Academic and Student Affairs. “By offering support on-campus and remotely, we can serve students where they are most comfortable.”

Enrollment is open for the fall semester at Aiken Tech. Fall terms 1 and 2 begin Monday, Aug. 17, and Fall Term 3 will begin Oct. 6.

Kristina Rackley is the health, education, and general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard. To support local journalism and access more articles, subscribe by clicking here