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West LA College wins online award

Institution has delivered virtual education for 20 years

OW Staff Writer | 6/25/2020, midnight
West LA College was recently named to two best lists: #15 in the United States on the..

West LA College was recently named to two best lists: #15 in the United States on the 2020 Top Online Community Colleges list published by CollegeConsesus.com; and #13 on the 2020 Best Online Community Colleges in California list published by Optimal.com Guide to Online Schools.

West LA College is one of the most searched for community colleges by California State University and University of California students. This portal allows students to easily locate university-transferrable classes offered online at California’s community colleges.

“The Distance Education Program gave me the freedom to receive my degree and transfer without having to be on campus. The staff is incredible and were willing to help with any problem I had. The courses are well laid out and the instructors are supportive,” said Ashlee Jerro, a working mom who completed the first half of her Bachelor’s degree online through West. Jerro then transferred to a California State University to complete her degree in Child Development. She will be starting a full-time job with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

For Hannah Tribolet with LA Models, the West online program gave her the flexibility to travel around the country and abroad while still pursuing a college degree. “I’m in an industry where you are looked at for how you look, so to be in school and have a backup is very important to me.”

West LA College has been a leader in delivering online education for over 20 years which was helpful in converting all of the in-person classes to a remote format when the campus closed in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, explained Aracely Aguiar, vice president of Academic Affairs. The Distance Learning team not only provided training to faculty who needed it, they also trained faculty from the other eight campuses in the Los Angeles Community College District.

Eric Ichon, dean of Distance Learning, helped establish the online program at West when very few community colleges saw merit in doing so.

“Today there are many more online options for college students, particularly through private schools,” Ichon said. “However, the advantage at West is not only our experience but the low tuition. We have out-of-state students who pay less to attend West than they would at a campus in their home state.

“University students appreciate being able to complete General Education classes at a savings and high school students can complete college requirements for $0 tuition,” he continued, “Students also appreciate that West is an actual campus where they can visit and, under normal circumstances, opt to take in-person classes.”