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Center for Digital Education Announces Top Ten Tech-Savvy Community Colleges

Smart colleges at every level are in a hurry to keep up with the latest educational technology advances, and smart education publications are in a hurry to praise those colleges for their efforts. This week, the focus is on community colleges. The votes are in, and the Center for Digital Education and technocentric education magazine Converge have teamed up to announce the winners of their fifth annual Digital Community Colleges Survey.

The Digital Community Colleges Survey is open to all community colleges in the United States and, according to Converge's website, the purpose of the contest is "to recognize and showcase community colleges that are providing a high level of service to their faculty, students and communities through information technology." The survey examined several different technology-related points for each school, assessing their use and integration of such concepts as online courses, Web 2.0 social networking elements, tutoring services, and a significant offering of technology degrees and training for both students and professors.

After the assessments, schools were divided up according to size, and the definitive lists were crafted. For the large college division (over 7,500 students), Pennsylvania's Montgomery County Community College came in first place, just ahead of two schools out of Virginia. The rest of the list rounds out as follows:

Large colleges: 7,500 students or more

1st: Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, Pa.
2nd: Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, Va.
3rd: Tidewater Community College, Norfolk, Va.
4th: Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, N.Y.
5th: Howard Community College, Columbia, Md.
6th: Anne Arundel Community College, Anne Arundel, Md.
7th: Macomb Community College, Warren, Mich.
8th: Delaware Technical and Community College, Dover, Del.
9th: San Antonio College, San Antonio, Texas (tie)
9th: Scottsdale Community College, Scottsdale, Ariz. (tie)
10th: Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan. (tie)
10th: Rio Salado College, Tempe, Ariz. (tie)

Mid-sized colleges: 3,000 to 7,500 students

1st: Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne, Wyo.
2nd: Tompkins Cortland Community College, Dryden, N.Y.
3rd: Darton College, Albany, Ga.
4th: Rappahannock Community College, Warsaw, Va. (tie)
4th: Walters State Community College, Morristown, Tenn. (tie)
5th: Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg, Ill. (tie)
5th: Lord Fairfax Community College, Middletown, Va. (tie)
6th: Mountain Empire Community College, Big Stone Gap, Va.
7th: Lake Superior College, Duluth, Minn.
8th: Western Wyoming Community College, Rock Springs, Wyo. (tie)
8th: Southwest Virginia Community College, Richlands, Va. (tie)
9th: Raritan Valley Community College, Somerville, N.J.
10th: Patrick Henry Community College, Martinsville, Va. (tie)
10th: Piedmont Virginia Community College, Charlottesville, Va. (tie)

Small colleges: less than 3,000 students

1st: Panola College, Carthage, Texas
2nd: Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, Clifton Forge, Va.
3rd: Mesabi Range Community and Technical College, Virginia, Minn.
4th: Kirtland Community College, Roscommon, Mich.
5th: Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington, Minn.
6th: Montgomery Community College, Troy, N.C.
7th: Zane State College, Zanesville, Ohio
8th: Halifax Community College, Weldon, N.C.
9th: Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield, Maine
10th: South Arkansas Community College, El Dorado, Ark.

With their accessibility and affordability, experts everywhere are touting community colleges as having a pivotal role in the education of our nation; when community colleges employ distance learning techniques to further their scope, their potential becomes limitless. In the article Marina Leight, vice president of the Center for Digital Education, expressed her excitement at the technological advances making their way through these schools. "Community colleges, year after year, impress us with their forward thinking and abilities to adapt quickly," she said. "Our survey results show overwhelmingly that community colleges are fast embracing cyber technologies used by 'first digitals,' fostering collaboration in learning by using tools in which students are familiar. Those institutions �� chosen as this year's top community colleges �� are exceptional examples of this investment in learning."

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