Rowan-Cabarrus ranked fourth in the nation on the 2017-2018 Digital Community Colleges Top Ten Survey

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College took fourth place in this year’s 2017-2018 Digital Community Colleges Top Ten-Ranking Survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Education.

While Rowan-Cabarrus has held a spot in the top ten for the last four years in a row, this is the first time that the College has been the leading institution in North Carolina.

The College faced fierce competition as all accredited U.S. community colleges are eligible to participate in the Digital Community Colleges Survey within three classifications based on enrollment size. Rowan-Cabarrus was recognized for its work on mobile technology, smart classrooms, and technology innovation.

“We are extremely proud to have made this prestigious list of honorees for the last four consecutive years, and to have maintained our fourth place ranking this year!” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.

Rowan-Cabarrus utilizes digital technology to enhance and improve the quality of services provided. The College offers technology resources like online tutoring for students 24 hours a day, seven days a week, new registration features that allow students to plan Two students working on a computertheir entire academic path to graduation through the WebAdvisor online help tool, and continues efforts to expand courses offered via distance education.

“On behalf of Dr. Kecia Ray and the Center for Digital Education, I would like to extend our congratulations on your top ten ranking in the 2017-18 Digital Community Colleges Survey!” said Janet Grenslitt, director of surveys and awards for the Center for Digital Education. “The top-ten winning colleges reflect a comprehensive implementation of technology supporting the educational institution’s operations, as well as serving students, faculty and administrators.”

Now in its thirteenth year, the Digital Community Colleges Survey analyzes how community colleges use a range of technologies to improve services. The College was recognized for its progressive use of digital technologies incorporated to enhance the quality of services for students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

“The College understands that technology is the way of the future and calls for greater incorporation in academic intuitions. We will continue to listen to our students and provide the technological options they are seeking for their education,” said Spalding. “Although we have come a long way, we continue to work and enhance the services and system we provide to students.”

For example, the College is currently working on a new online student advising tool called Navigate that will assist students with staying connected to their personal career and advising specialist throughout their academic journey. This planning helps improve a student’s ability to forecast the classes they need to take each term and how close they are to achieving their degree, diploma, or certificate.

The College also supports a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach to technology on campus and assists students, faculty and staff with the College’s IT help desk. Rowan-Cabarrus has created a stable, secured wireless network that allows students, faculty, and staff to be able to connect to network resources using not only college-owned devices but personal devices like smartphones, tablets or laptops.

“Some schools offer the BYOD approach by offering low-end computers for purchase. We want to ensure our students receive fully functional, high quality computers at a fraction of the cost. We also are able to assist students in using their financial aid to make the purchase, ensuring that individuals have the access to technology that they need,” said Ken Ingle, chief officer of information services for the College.

The College not only supports enhanced websites, new online planning systems, mobile technology, campus wide wireless access, as well as many other tools, but Rowan-Cabarrus ties all of these items together to create a cohesive personalized and contextual experience for students.

“A recent study indicated that distance education enrollments account for nearly all recent student growth at two-year institutions, and we want to be sure we are offering courses in the methods our students want. However, from the information technology side of things, we also want to make sure those offerings are supported with the right kinds of technology and customer service resources,” said Ingle.

The College also offers several programs 100 percent online including the transferable Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree options. In addition, dozens of diplomas and certifications are available to be earned entirely online.

Other digital initiatives include introducing online textbooks to many of the College’s core and elective classes, online job preparation and searching resources, social media and electronic emergency notifications systems.

The Center for Digital Education (CDE) is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding. CDE provides education and industry leaders with decision support and actionable insights to help efficiently incorporate new technologies in the 21st century. Learn more at

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The College is currently accepting applications for summer and fall 2018 semesters begin May 21, and August 13, 2018.