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Top 10 Colleges “Ace” Digital Community Colleges Survey 2014-15

Textbook-free courses, wireless networks, online transfer fairs and online proctoring are among services provided to students.

April 16, 2015 -- e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education (CDE) has announced the results and winners of its Digital Community Colleges Survey.  In its tenth year, the survey analyzes how community colleges use digital technologies to improve services to students, faculty, staff and the community at large.  Findings include: 58% support student job placement through online resume-building tools, 43% have strategies in place for the use of mobile devices and 81% of colleges surveyed use cloud computing services resulting in cost savings.
All accredited U.S. community colleges are eligible to participate in the survey within three classifications based on size of enrollment.  View the full list of colleges honored below.

“Technology is being used on campuses and in lecture halls to lower costs and improve student outcomes,” said Alan Cox, Senior Vice President for the Center for Digital Education.  “This year’s survey indicates that community colleges are making great strides in using data to improve decisions, providing professional development to assist faculty in the use of technology, and creating robust online and mobile environments for their students. Congratulations to this year’s survey winners.”

Colleges placing first in each classification:

  • Northern Virginia Community College, Va. (10,000 students or more) NVCC’s online “campus,” the Extended Learning Institute, provides two fully online AS degrees, online advising, proctoring, and extracurricular activities in order to ensure that online students have a full collegiate experience, even if they never go to a campus. Examples include the virtual student union and an online “transfer fair” with “break out rooms” for each participating college. With free digital materials also available, students enrolled in online courses have saved over $800,000.
  • Lord Fairfax Community College, Va. (Between 5,000 and 10,000 students) LFCC planned ahead years ago and built a fully-scalable, upgradable wireless network to support students and guests – before the mobile boom. This has served students and faculty well in providing digital content and courses. Accessible IT infrastructure is the college’s first priority, and best practices for security measures have been implemented to protect the data.
  • Carl Sandburg College, Ill. (Up to 5,000 students) CSC launched the Open Education Resource Course Initiative (OERCI) last year to provide support and opportunities for faculty to use open education resources in their courses. This has saved students $130,000 to date by reducing textbook requirements and increasing the number of textbook-free courses. Mobile devices are encouraged and used campus-wide; the sciences department utilizes 3D and 4D apps and the college has a 3D printer for student and faculty use.

2014-2015 Digital Community Colleges Survey Top Ten-Ranking Winners


Large Colleges Category - 10,000 Students or More:
1st Northern Virginia Community College, Va.
2nd Montgomery County Community College, Pa.
3rd Howard Community College, Md.
3rd Lone Star College, Texas

4th Bucks County Community College, Pa.
4th Delaware Technical Community College, Del.
4th Thomas Nelson Community College, Va.
5th HACC, Central Pennsyvania's Community College
5th Kingsborough Community College, N.Y.
6th Fayetteville Technical Community College, N.C.
7th William Rainey Harper College, Ill.
8th Delta College, Mich.
8th Northampton Community College, Penn.
9th Community College of Rhode Island, R.I.
10th Jefferson State Community College, Ala.
10th Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, N.C.

Mid-Sized Colleges Category - Between 5,000 and 10,000 Students

1st Lord Fairfax Community College, Va.
2nd Hostos Community College, N.Y.
2nd Walters State Community College, Tenn.
3rd Virginia Western Community College, Va.
4th Blue Ridge Community College, Va.
5th Jackson College, Mich.
6th Lake Land College, Ill.
6th Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Minn.
7th Germanna Community College, Va.
8th Central Virginia Community College, Va.
8th Nash Community College, N.C.
8th Piedmont Virginia Community College, Va.
9th Lehigh Carbon Community College, Pa.
10th Northeast Community College, Neb.

Small Colleges Category – Up to 5,000 Students:

1st Carl Sandburg College, Ill.
2nd Laramie County Community College, Wyo.
3rd Lake Sumter State College, Fla.
3rd Rappahannock Community College, Va.
4th Tompkins Cortland Community College, N.Y.
5th Bay de Noc Community College, Mich.
6th Halifax Community College, N.C.
7th Kirtland Community College, Mich.
7th Lake Area Technical Institute, S.D.
7th Patrick Henry Community College, Va.
8th Morton College, Ill.
8th Paul D. Camp Community College, Va.
9th Manchester Community College, N.H.
9th Panola College, Texas
10th Aims Community College, Colo.
10th Southwest Virginia Community College, Va.

Selected Survey Findings

Mobility strategy

  • 43% of colleges have a strategy in place for the use of mobile devices.
  • 53% of colleges are piloting the use of mobile devices in classrooms, but don’t have a formal strategy in place.
  • 59% of colleges offer professional development for teachers on how to use mobile apps for instruction.
  • 29% of colleges offer professional development for teachers or provide specific policies regarding how to protect student privacy when using apps.
Job placement
The college is using technology to support student job placement through:     

  • 58% - Online resume-building tool
  • 82% - Online access to job postings and career information
  • 59% - Online job placement program, including any partnerships with private sector companies
Top 10 IT Priorities for 2015

  1. Mobility - Devices and App Support
  2. Server and/or Desktop Virtualization
  3. Website Redesign/ Updates
  4. Network Infrastructure Modernization (Wired and/or Wireless)
  5. Digital Content and Curriculum
  6. Cyber Security Tools and Testing
  7. Computer Refresh
  8. Server Refresh
  9. Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity
  10. Cloud Services
Strategic Planning

  • 53% of colleges utilize dashboards such as for mid-course assessments, student progress, IT systems and services and break/fix support
  • 58% of colleges have an IT strategic plan
  • 75% of colleges have a supporting source of funds in place for its strategic plan
  • 40% of colleges have recommendations and guidelines for how departments are to use technology in curriculum development.
Data Management

  • 43% of colleges report that server virtualization is complete
  • 32% of colleges report that data center consolidation is complete
  • 81% of colleges use cloud computing services which have resulted in cost savings

About the Center for Digital Education:
The Center for Digital Education (CDE) is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy, and funding. CDE provides education and industry leaders with decision support and actionable insight to help effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century.

CDE is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.


For more information contact Janet Grenslitt, Director of Surveys and Awards