SOURCE: Center for Digital Education

April 06, 2005 16:03 ET

Top 10 Digital Community Colleges for 2005

FOLSOM, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 6, 2005 -- The top 10 digitally savvy community colleges for 2005 have been named by the Center for Digital Education (Center) and American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). A ranking was established based on their second Digital Community Colleges Survey, which examined how colleges are deploying technology to streamline operations and better serve their students, faculty and staff.

More than 200 community colleges across the country participated in the survey. Colleges were grouped into three categories based on city and student population. In the large/urban category, two colleges share the first-place position: St. Petersburg College in Florida and York Technical College in South Carolina. In the mid/suburban category, Indian River Community College in Florida earned the top position. Tompkins Cortland Community College in New York captured first place in the small/rural category.

Community college officials responded to a set of 24 questions in the survey that addressed online capabilities, such as admission, registration, bookstores, and grades. Additional questions focused on the availability of technology tools and training for teachers and faculty, along with strategic plans across departments and within curriculum planning. Colleges were ranked according to a four-point scale, providing Web site addresses and background data for final verification and validation.

"This year's study confirms that technology has become a vital tool in both the learning environment and in campus service delivery," said Marina Leight, vice president of the Center. "Nearly every aspect of the college experience is supported by technology, which means everyone wins -- everyone benefits. Congratulations to this year's top-ranking colleges for their outstanding innovations and contributions to digital education."

Top 10 Digital Community Colleges

1st Place (tie): St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, Fla.
1st Place (tie): York Technical College, Rock Hill, S.C.
2nd Place: Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne, Wyo.
3rd Place: Miami-Dade College, Miami, Fla.
4th Place: North Harris Montgomery Community College, The Woodlands, Texas
5th Place: Community College of Rhode Island, Warwick, R.I.
6th Place: Darton College, Albany, Ga.
7th Place: Florida Community College, Jacksonville, Fla.
8th Place: Broward Community College, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
9th Place: Cumberland County College, Vineland, N.J.
10th Place: Rio Salado College, Tempe, Ariz.

1st Place: Indian River Community College, Fort Pierce, Fla.
2nd Place: Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.
3rd Place: Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, Md.
4th Place: Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, Calif.
5th Place: Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, Pa.
6th Place: College of Southern Maryland, La Plata, Md.
7th Place: San Juan College, Farmington, N.M.
8th Place: Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, Va.
9th Place: Carroll Community College, Westminster, Md.
10th Place: Macomb Community College, Warren, Mich.

1st Place: Tompkins Cortland Community College, Dryden, N.Y.
2nd Place: Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schnecksville, Pa.
3rd Place: Patrick Henry Community College, Martinsville, Va.
4th Place: Kirtland Community College, Roscommon, Mich.
5th Place: Panola College, Carthage, Texas
6th Place: Aims Community College, Greeley, Colo.
7th Place: Western Iowa Tech Community College, Sioux City, Iowa
8th Place: Minnesota West Community and Technical College,
           Granite Falls, Minn.
9th Place: Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, Va.
10th Place: Lake-Sumter Community College, Leesburg, Fla.
AACC President George Boggs believes America's community colleges continue to demonstrate their leadership by making education more accessible, convenient and effective. "The appropriate use of technology has enabled our colleges to improve their programs and delivery of services," he said. "It is important that all of our community colleges continue to use a combination of tools and talents to improve access to education and training, and increase the success rate for our students. Congratulations to this year's top digital community colleges."

Many of the top-ranking colleges attribute their success to campus leadership and staff who recognize the value of technology and support it. "This award reflects the vision and wisdom of the college's administration and board to invest in and stay the course on the use of Internet-based technologies," said Conferlete Carney, vice president of information systems, business services, budgets, and planning at St. Petersburg College.

York Technical College President, Dr. Dennis F. Merrell, said this first-place award is a tribute to his faculty, staff and administrators who recognize that a 21st century education means identifying and embracing only the best emerging technologies and applying them to the task of learning. He also attributes the college's success to its technology partners. "Together, we have created a premier learning environment," he added.

At the mid-size and smaller community colleges, officials believe integrating technology into teaching and learning has provided students with flexibility, convenience and deeper learning experiences. "This award reinforces our view that infusion of technology into the curriculum provides a value-added learning experience and will also provide feedback for future enhancements," said Indian River Community College President, Dr. Ed Massey.

"It's a great honor to be recognized by experts as one of the best in the country," added Tompkins Cortland Community College President Carl E. Haynes. "We try very hard to use technology in ways that are smart to support learning and non-academic needs of our learners."

The 2005 Digital Community Colleges Survey was underwritten by 3Com, Gateway and Quest Software.

For more information on the Digital Community Colleges Survey, contact Rhonda Wilson, communications director, at 916/932-1321 or


The Center for Digital Education is a leading resource on information technology policy, trends and opportunities in K-12 and higher education. A division of e.Republic (publisher of Government Technology magazine), the Center offers a series of unique programs, digital publications -- including CONVERGE Online, and events that cover the critical policy, executive leadership and applications surrounding education technology.

The American Association of Community Colleges is a national association representing close to 95 percent of all accredited U.S. two-year community, junior and technical colleges and their 10.5 million students, as well as a growing number of international members in Puerto Rico, Japan, Great Britain, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The AACC is the primary advocacy organization for community colleges at the national level and works closely with directors of state offices to inform and affect state policy.

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