Research Report Supporting Community College Learners Online
Amanda Briggs, Semhar Gebrekristos, Shayne Spaulding
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Online enrollment at public two-year colleges has increased over the last decade and is expected to continue expanding in response to a changing labor market that requires frequent job changes and upskilling. Fully online courses and degree programs can provide accessible and flexible options for learners, but some studies have pointed to challenges with course completion for online students. Community colleges need to identify strategies for better supporting online learners to improve their educational and labor market outcomes. Based on interviews with research experts, college staff, and administrators and a review of the literature, this report features rich examples that describe how community colleges are supporting their online learners via academic and personal supports, engagement supports, and career-oriented supports, and explores the role of technology in providing these supports. It also elevates promising practices that can support online learners and explores five key knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to effectively support online community college students.

Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Education Families Workforce
Tags Higher education Workforce development Economic well-being Families with low incomes Beyond high school: education and training Community colleges Technology and future of learning and training Building America’s Workforce
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center