ECAR Study of Community College Students and Information Technology, 2019

several students huddled around a table looking at something on a laptop

This research focuses on the technology experiences of community college students and offers recommendations that attend to their unique needs and contexts.

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Key Findings

This hub provides findings from the study of the technology experiences of community college students, which were derived from the ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2018 report. ECAR collaborated with 130 institutions in 9 countries and 36 US states to collect responses from 64,536 students in 2018; 40 participating institutions were classified as community colleges, providing 10,072 community college students in the sample.

This study explores technology access and ownership, online success tools, learning environment preferences, and issues of accessible and adaptive technologies related to the community college experience. Two-year and AA institutions can use these findings to improve IT services, plan for shifts that impact students, and leverage technology further to encourage student success and credential completion. This research also helps stakeholders at other institution types understand the unique needs of community college students who transfer to four-year degree-granting colleges and universities.


Community college students are juggling more responsibilities than their four-year peers.

Community College vs Four-Year College Comparison Chart


Read more about the demographics >

Device Access, Ownership, and Importance

Nearly all community college students own smartphones and laptop computers, and more own desktop computers than students at other institutions.

Device access and ownership chart


Read more about device access, ownership, and importance >

Student Success Tools

Although community college students find online student success tools useful, fewer are aware of degree planning and mapping tools than four-year ("non-community college") students.

Awareness of online degree planning tools chart


Read more about student success tools >

Learning Environment Preferences

Community college students who are women, those who work, people who are married or in a domestic partnership, and those with dependents are all more likely to prefer learning environments that are mostly or completely online.

Learning Environment Preferences chart


Read more about learning environment preferences >


Two-year and AA colleges are doing a significantly better job than other institutions of meeting the needs of students with disabilities who require technology for their academics.

Institutional awareness of student accessibility needs chart

Institutional support for student accessibility needs chart


Read more about accessibility >


Community College Report Infographic Thumbnail 


Download the Community College Students and Information Technology infographic now.



EDUCAUSE Student & Faculty Technology Studies, 2004-Present

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