Online Education Boosts Enrollment at Community Colleges / Public News Service

Kenneth Palmer

Success of a new research showed community schools are building on pandemic-era achievement when a lot more learners turned to on the internet instruction.

Enrollment has fallen sharply in recent yrs, but has picked up put up-pandemic, thanks to on line finding out. In an energy to retain college students enrolled during the pandemic, schools turned to on-line studying, which was particularly crucial in rural areas, in which enrollment declines were being stark.

Andrew Koricich, govt director of the Alliance for Investigate on Regional Faculties at Appalachian Point out College, explained community faculties can make superior use of technology mainly because they are not getting to react to an unexpected emergency, which boosts enrollment.

“It feels a little a lot more optimistic,” Koricich observed. “It feels like campuses can be proactive with technological innovation instead than reactive the way they have been for quite a few several years. And even for learners, as faculty and directors get far better about their incorporation of know-how, pupils are going to have a superior view of it.”

The study surveyed much more than 1,200 faculty and 2,300 students in all 50 states.

Koricich pointed out the uptick in on-line learning can be especially practical to students in rural regions, the place enrollment has been declining considerably, and accelerated all through the pandemic, but only if they have obtain to it, which has been a difficulty in some rural locations.

“It even now variety of feels like it is dancing close to the broader digital-divide concern,” Koricich spelled out. “If you live in a position that will not have broadband internet, or it won’t have very affordable broadband online, it isn’t going to make a difference how enthusiastic you or the university are about technology due to the fact you won’t be able to use it.”

The analyze found 97% of the schools surveyed had responsible online accessibility, but it did not tackle the wants of rural students who do not. The faculties claimed they also no extended differentiate in between on line and in-human being college students, concentrating rather on the desires and usefulness of their college students.

Support for this reporting was offered by Lumina Foundation.&#13

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