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RCCC named top digital community college for second year in a row

May 31. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is one of the 2015-2016 top 10 digital community colleges, according to the Center for Digital Education. The CDE is a national research and advisory institute specializing in education technology trends, policy and funding.

Rowan-Cabarrus was recognized for its work on mobile technology, smart classrooms and technology innovation.

The college has used technology to make tutoring more readily available to students. Online tutoring is offered in many subjects 24 hours a day. In 2015, the college provided more than 1,700 synchronous online tutoring sessions totaling nearly 800 hours.

Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director for the Center for Digital Education, said, “This year’s survey indicates 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.”

The survey also revealed insights about community colleges’ technology priorities. Colleges surveyed indicated that mobility devices/app support and website redesign are their top priorities in the coming year, followed by cybersecurity tools and testing, network infrastructure modernization, server consolidation and virtualization, and disaster recovery/business continuity.

Rowan-Cabarrus is currently undergoing a web redesign, a large project designed to vastly improve the college’s ability to serve prospective and current students.

A new feature on the student registration system allows students to plan their entire academic path to graduation online. This planning helps improve their ability to forecast the classes they need to take each term and how close they are to achieving their degree, diploma or certificate. Itemized tuition bills are now easily accessible through the same platform.

The college supports students, faculty and staff with a 24/7 IT help desk. The stable, secured wireless network allows students, faculty and staff to connect to network resources using not only college-owned devices, but personal devices like smartphones, tablets or laptops.

“We not only support enhanced websites, new online planning systems, mobile technology, campus-wide wireless access, as well as many other tools, but we tie all of these items together to create a cohesive personalized and contextual experience for our students,” said chief information officer Ken Ingle. “This experience simplifies technology for our users, allowing students to focus on their educational goals. We believe this is really what set us apart from others who entered.”

The Rowan-Cabarrus mobile app allows students to view their entire course load along with detailed descriptions of each class, check their final grades on the go, access Blackboard and even get personalized notifications regarding any holds on their student accounts.

The college is also expanding its distance education offerings. Nine degree options can be obtained completely online, including the transferable associate in arts and associate in science degrees. In addition, dozens of diplomas and certifications are available to be earned completely online. In 2015, more than half of all enrollment was either completely online or included an online component.

Other digital initiatives include online textbooks, online job preparation and searching resources, social media and electronic emergency notifications systems.


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