A new survey of community college students highlights the challenge community colleges face in serving an increasing number of students with dwindling public funding.
Thirty-seven percent of students said they were unable to enroll in a class this semester because the class was full, according to the annual Pearson Foundation Community College Student Survey.
The survey—which polled 1,205 students in August and September—also tracked the growing trend among students to take online courses. Nearly six in 10 community college students have taken college courses online, with 46 percent taking at least one such course this fall. Three-quarters of students who have taken online courses said they are satisfied with their experience. Almost four in 10 students indicated that they would like to take all of their classes online.
The 2011 student survey found rapid growth in ownership of e-tablets, which has tripled since 2010, with nearly 10 percent of community college students owning a tablet device. The survey results show that students regularly use technology to support their academics: two-thirds of tablet owners use them when studying or doing homework, and two out of five smartphone owners use their phones for the same purposes.
The survey also reported widespread concern among students about their college readiness. Findings show that more than half of community college students who are recent high school graduates felt their high school did not properly prepare them for college-level academics and could have done more by placing a stronger emphasis on basic skills, offering more courses and providing more challenging courses.