Thirty-six community colleges earned recognition for using technology to serve their campuses, according to the 2012 Digital Community Colleges Survey results announced Thursday, Oct. 18.
Colleges from 26 states entered the eighth annual survey conducted by the Center for Digital Education. Winning colleges in three different enrollment categories had higher total scores on questions about technology projects and programs they have in place.
The following contributed to the winners earning the top spots this year.
Lone Star College in Texas combines local help desk support during the work day while outsourcing support in the late evenings and weekends. By virtualizing desktops, applications and users, the college also supports students who bring their own devices to campus.
Lord Fairfax Community College in Virginia now has Wi-Fi coverage throughout its campus and uses cloud-based services for a number of purposes. And Carl Sandburg College in Illinois has also moved to cloud-based services, and supports students bringing their own devices with enhanced security measures.
Survey participants said their top five IT priorities are as follows:
- Mobile computing management and integration into curriculum
- Wireless infrastructure upgrades and expansion
- Student portal development
- Server virtualization and virtualized desktop deployment
- Professional development in technology use and expansion into curriculum
Seventeen of the 50 U.S. states are represented on the list of 36 winners. Virginia had a whopping 10 community colleges make the list, five of which were in the mid-sized college category. Illinois came close with four.
Of the most populous states, Texas and New York had three winners and one Florida community college won, but California colleges did not make the list. Most of the winners were concentrated in the Eastern part of the United States, with only two Western winners in Utah and Wyoming.
On the map below, zoom in and click on the placemarkers to see the names, locations and rank of these colleges.
View Top Tech Community Colleges of 2012 in a larger map
All but 10 of these 36 winners also made the list last year, though many of their rankings have changed. Kingsborough Community College took the top spot in 2011 for large colleges, while Lone Star College moved up from second to take first place this year. In the mid-sized colleges category, Lord Fairfax Community College jumped from a three-way tie for fourth last year to first this year. And in the small colleges category, Carl Sandburg Community College moved from third place to take the top spot this year.
Large Colleges Category - 10,000 Students or More
- Lone Star College
- Northwest Arkansas Community College
- Howard Community College
Kingsborough Community College
- Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, Kan.
Northern Virginia Community College
- Houston Community College
- Delaware Technical Community College
- Delta College
University Center, Mich.
Tidewater Community College
- Montgomery County Community College
Blue Bell, Pa.
Salt Lake Community College
Salt Lake City, Utah
- Moraine Valley Community College
Palos Hills, Ill.
- Fayetteville Technical Community College
Mid-Sized Colleges Category - Between 5,000 and 10,000 Students
- Lord Fairfax Community College
- Virginia Western Community College
- Laramie County Community College
- Hostos Community College
- Darton State College
- Walters State Community College
- Germanna Community College
Locust Grove, Va.
Piedmont Virginia Community College
- Southside Virginia Community College
- Lake Land College
- Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Granite Falls, Minn.
Small Colleges Category – Less Than 5,000 Students
- Carl Sandburg College
- Tompkins Cortland Community College
- Kirtland Community College
- Atlanta Technical College
- Lake-Sumter Community College
- Halifax Community College
Rappahannock Community College
- Patrick Henry Community College
- Spoon River College
- Southwest Virginia Community College
Cedar Bluff, Va.
- Panola College
For more information on survey findings, see the announcement at www.centerdigitaled.com/awards/digital-community-colleges.