PADUCAH, Ky. — West Kentucky Community and Technical College was recently named one of the nation's 25 Best Online Colleges of 2015 by

"We are honored to be recognized by," said Connie Heflin, WKCTC dean of online learning. "The mission of our Online Learning Department is to provide consistently high quality course content and faculty instruction, and both our full-time and part-time faculty are committed to student success." is an online resource for prospective college students that strives to help students make an educated choice about their future. Through the use of student and faculty surveys, independent research, ranking systems and the input of highly credible and authoritative sources, creates a database of schools to help students and their families learn more about their best options for higher education. rankings are compiled using the most recent data from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, sources maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics. Top schools are chosen based on four data points - admissions, enrollment, retention and graduation data.

When calculating the data, ranked every school against one another for each data point. All data points were weighted equally covering the school's assessment of students, student opinion of the school and student success once enrolled. Schools that excelled in all four areas ranked the highest in their respective categories. WKCTC was one of two Kentucky community colleges to make the list; the other was Gateway Community and Technical College.

All ranked schools offer at least three fully online degree programs and are not-for-profit institutions. WKCTC offers ten online programs including the marine technology and logistics and operations management programs that provide educational opportunities and training in the high-wage, high-demand marine industry. In fall 2014, there were over 4,000 online course enrollments.

WKCTC President Barbara Veazey said the college's courses are evaluated annually for quality using a rubric based on the Blackboard Exemplary Course Rubric. "The college has allocated resources to online course design and delivery, and to advisors who work closely with our students to move them to completion," Veazey said, "We are gratified to see the national ranking and will continue efforts to improve even more." chose to exclude the cost of tuition in its rankings criteria because it determined the cost of a degree does not have a direct correlation to its quality. Retention and graduation were considered indicators of student satisfaction with the online program.

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