Laurel Ridge RANKED NO. 1 DIGITAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE

For Immediate Release:
April 18, 2017

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

Laurel Ridge is No. 1 when it comes to using technology to enhance learning and student engagement. The Center for Digital Education put Laurel Ridge at the top of the 2016-2017 Digital Community Colleges Survey for schools with an enrollment between 5,000 and 10,000. This is the 12th year the center has done the analysis.

“This year’s survey indicates community colleges are continuing to improve efforts at creating cost-effective platforms and Open Education Resources, mobile environments, real-time resources, telepresence robots and more to create robust online and mobile environments for their students,” said Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director for the Center for Digital Education.

Laurel Ridge’s recent implementation of a video technology service that allows lecture capture and recording, digital whiteboarding and internet connections that can be made globally for any student anywhere was cited by The Center for Digital Excellence. Laurel Ridge can remotely interact with students through a remote-controlled teleconferencing robot.

Zoom, the compressed video software the college uses for video conferencing, costs just 1/10 of what the former software cost, and spread out across dozens of rooms on the college’s campuses, the savings is significant, Information Technology Strategist and Chief Information Officer Richie Crim said.  

Laurel Ridge recently conducted an interview of an instructor candidate in Guam while using the system, Crim said.

“We’ve had guest lecturers through Zoom,” he said. “They can be from anywhere and come in and communicate.”

This marks Laurel Ridge’s fourth year winning the award. After three consecutive wins, the center made a change in the rules, placing the previous year’s winner on a review panel.

For a prior win, Crim put a telecommuting robot on a plane with a colleague. From his home, Crim controlled the robot as it accepted the award.

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Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.

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