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ECC recognized by

ASO (ASO), a leading resource for online learning and college accreditation information, has released its annual rankings for the 2015-2016 Best Online Colleges in the nation. Of the eight Iowa community colleges that made this year’s list, Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls ranked 4th.

“We wanted to highlight schools like Ellsworth Community College, that have made it a point to ensure academic quality standards through accreditation,” says Doug Jones, CEO and founder of Accredited Schools Online. “These schools are not only offering exceptional programs, but they have expanded their programs’ excellence to the much-desired online environment.”

Ranked schools meet a number of ASO criteria and metrics, including:

  • Must offer an Associate degree or higher
  • Must be a public or private, not-for-profit institution
  • Must offer at least one fully-online degree program

Accredited Schools Online has distinguished its ranking scale by the use of Peer-Based Value, or PBV. The PBV score compares the cost of each program to the cost of similar programs with the same qualitative score.

According to a recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics, 12.5 percent of students nationwide are enrolled exclusively in distance (online) education courses. According to the Iowa Department of Education’s “2015 Condition of Iowa’s Community Colleges Report,” 58.5% (2,337) of all IVCCD students (which includes both Ellsworth Community College and Marshalltown Community College) took 15,492 credit hours online; 17% of those ECC and MCC students were enrolled exclusively in online courses last year.

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