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Community College Students Value Internet Access Above All Else: Survey

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Is the internet more valuable to community college students than professors?

More than 70 percent of community college students believe that "high-speed internet access is important for success in community college," according to the findings of a recently released survey.

In contrast, 66 percent of students surveyed said it is "extremely or very important to have access to academic advisors and to establish relationships with professors" in order to succeed in college.

The Community College Student Survey -- which the Pearson Foundation calls the first-ever national survey of its kind -- asked 1,434 community college students about their ability to access classes, retention rates, and what they saw as essential to success at a junior college.

The respondents' emphasis on internet access is somewhat unsurprising, as 61 percent of those questioned said they had taken at least one course on the internet and around 75 reported having been required to complete class assignments online.

But the report also shows that this proclivity towards web-based learning is problematic -- of those students who reported struggling, 25 percent said they did not seek help from an academic advisor and 74 percent of students who dropped out of the program said that they did not speak with an instructor or advisor before making their decision.

Other findings show that students' academic options have been limited by a scarcity of resources at community colleges. According to the survey, 32 percent said they could not enroll in a class of choice because it was full and 28 percent of those who took math and English placement tests were unable to enroll in prescribed courses. The Chronicle of Higher Education, however, notes that because this type of survey has never been done before it is impossible to tell whether more students are unable to gain access to classes this year.

Check out Pearson for a full summary of the results, and share your thoughts with us in the comments section.