Online Enrollment Grows at Two-Year Schools

A national survey of two-year institutions by the Instructional Technology Council released in May 2011 found that community colleges saw a 9 percent increase in online education enrollment between Fall 2009 and Fall 2010, according to an article in Inside Higher Ed. And even though more students are being enrolled in such programs, the colleges are still not meeting demand, with 68 percent of the surveyed schools reporting that the "demand [for online education] exceeds their distance education class offerings." Completion rates for students in online courses remains lower than those for traditional courses, at 69 percent compared to 75 percent. Additionally, for the seventh year in a row, surveyed distance education administrators ranked "the need for support staff for training and technical assistance" as their top challenge. Implementing distance education programs requires specialized support and a higher level of technical assistance than campus-based programs, and many community colleges do not have the budget to invest heavily in online programs.

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