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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College ranked a top NC digital community college

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

SALISBURY — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College took fourth place in the 2017-18 Digital Community Colleges Top 10 Ranking Survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Education.

While Rowan-Cabarrus has held a spot in the top 10 for four years in a row, this is the first time the college has been the leading institution in North Carolina.

All accredited community colleges are eligible to participate in the survey in three classifications based on enrollment. Rowan-Cabarrus was recognized for its work in mobile technology, smart classrooms and technology innovation.

“We are extremely proud to have made this prestigious list of honorees for the last four consecutive years and to have maintained our fourth place ranking this year,” said college President Carol S. Spalding.

Rowan-Cabarrus uses digital technology to enhance the quality of services provided. The college offers technology resources like online tutoring for students 24 hours a day. New registration features allow students to plan their academic path to graduation through the WebAdvisor online tool. The college continues to expand courses offered by distance education.

“On behalf of Dr. Kecia Ray and the Center for Digital Education, I would like to extend our congratulations on your top 10 ranking in the 2017-18 Digital Community Colleges Survey,” said Janet Grenslitt, director of surveys and awards for the Center for Digital Education. “The top 10 winning colleges reflect a comprehensive implementation of technology supporting the educational institution’s operations, as well as serving students, faculty and administrators.”

Now in its 13th year, the Digital Community Colleges Survey analyzes how community colleges use a range of technologies to improve services.

Rowan-Cabarrus was recognized for its progressive use of digital technologies incorporated to enhance the quality of services for students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

“The college understands that technology is the way of the future and calls for greater incorporation in academic intuitions. We will continue to listen to our students and provide the technological options they are seeking for their education,” said Spalding. “Although we have come a long way, we continue to work and enhance the services and system we provide to students.”

For example, the college is working on a new online student advising tool called Navigate that will help students stay connected to their career and advising specialist. This planning helps improve a student’s ability to forecast the classes he needs to take each term and how close he is to achieving a degree, diploma or certificate.

The college also supports a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach to technology on campus and assists students, faculty and staff with its IT help desk.

Rowan-Cabarrus has a stable, secure wireless network that allows students, faculty and staff to connect to network resources using not only college-owned devices but personal devices like smartphones, tablets or laptops.

“Some schools offer the BYOD approach by offering low-end computers for purchase,” said Ken Ingle, chief officer of information services. “We want to ensure our students receive fully functional, high quality computers at a fraction of the cost. We also are able to assist students in using their financial aid to make the purchase, ensuring that individuals have the access to technology that they need.”

The college not only supports enhanced websites, new online planning systems, mobile technology, campuswide wireless access, and many other tools, but it ties all these services together to create a personalized experience for students.

“A recent study indicated that distance education enrollments account for nearly all recent student growth at two-year institutions, and we want to be sure we are offering courses in the methods our students want. However, from the information technology side of things, we also want to make sure those offerings are supported with the right kinds of technology and customer service resources,” said Ingle.

The college offers several programs 100 percent online including the transferable associate in arts and associate in science degree options. In addition, dozens of diplomas and certifications are available entirely online.

Other digital initiatives include introducing online textbooks to many of the college’s core and elective classes, online job preparation and search resources, social media and electronic emergency notifications systems.

The Center for Digital Education is a national research and advisory institute specializing in kindergarten-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding. CDE provides education and industry leaders with decision support and insights to help incorporate new technologies. Learn more at www.centerdigitaled.com.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit www.rccc.edu/apply or call 704-216-7222.

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