Ongoing Digital Pulse Survey evaluated digital learning at community colleges in the wake of the global pandemic

Amid decreasing enrollment, community college students want flexible course formats


Ongoing Digital Pulse Survey evaluated digital learning at community colleges in the wake of the global pandemic

Community college enrollment as dropped by nearly 15 percent since the COVID-19 pandemic began–a fact that is particularly concerning considering that community colleges serve a higher number of marginalized student populations.

New research from Cengage and Bay View Analytics looks at the learning experience of community college students and what they want for future courses.

The latest installment of the Digital Learning Pulse Survey found that the majority of community college students today are taking online or hybrid courses and the majority give their learning experience good marks. When it comes to how community college students want to learn in the future, most say they want more digital options and at least some courses fully online.

The Digital Learning Pulse Survey is an ongoing research project to understand how the pandemic is changing higher education. The survey had more than 4,300 respondents across higher education – 2,266 students, 1,248 faculty and 831 administrators, and was conducted by Bay View Analytics on behalf of primary partner and underwriter Cengage, as well as the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), Achieving the Dream (ATD), Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the Higher Education Research & Development Institute (HERDI) and College Pulse.

“For all of the disruption that COVID-19 has caused for students, community college students continue to believe that their educational needs are being well-met. In addition, students appreciate many of the changes that the move to online has produced and desire more online options in the future,” said Dr. Jeff Seaman, lead researcher and Director of Bay View Analytics.

Laura Ascione