The Mixed Methods Blog

Perspectives from our researchers, highlights from recent studies, and other news about CCRC

What COVID-19 Means for Community Colleges

A woman walks on campus wearing a surgical mask

From enrollment to instruction, no part of open-access postsecondary education has remained untouched by the coronavirus. Since the pandemic began, our researchers have written several blog posts and contributed to dozens of news stories related to the community college sector's response and its future, all of which you'll find below. We will continue to update this page, as well as our COVID-19 blog series, as this crisis continues.

Jump to: Enrollment | Instruction and Student Supports | The Student Experience | Funding | Workforce | Other Impacts


CCRC blog: Community Colleges and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Which States Have Been Hardest Hit?

This blog post uses Census Bureau data to offer a state-by-state look at how COVID-19 has disrupted students' college plans. (March 2, 2021)

CCRC blog: Behind the Enrollment Numbers: How COVID has Changed Students’ Plans for Community College

Based on survey data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, this blog post examines how the pandemic is affecting households with community college students and sheds light on why community college enrollments are down. (November 19, 2020)

CCRC blog: How Will COVID-19 Affect Community College Enrollment? Looking to the Great Recession for Clues

Based on observations following the last major disruption to community colleges, Davis Jenkins and John Fink explore how the COVID-19 pandemic could affect enrollment trends across three groups of students: students aged 25 and over, students aged 18–24, and dual enrollment students. (April 30, 2020)

In the news

Instruction and Student Supports

CCRC publication: Implementing and Scaling Multiple Measures Assessment in the Context of COVID-19

This brief discusses how community college systems in four states—Indiana, Virginia, Texas, and Washington—supported large-scale changes to student placement practices in reaction to challenges associated with the COVID pandemic. (January 2021)

CCRC blog: Why Are Community Colleges Investing in Guided Pathways Reforms in the Face of Frightening Fiscal Uncertainty?

This post breaks down how much guided pathways reforms cost to implement, why colleges are choosing to undertake the reforms despite those costs, and what these efforts mean for funding amid the pandemic. (October 29, 2020)

CCRC blog: How Colleges Adapted Advising and Other Supports During COVID-19 Shutdowns

Though remote experiences cannot replace the relationships students and advisors build when they're together on campus, colleges across the country adapted to provide support to their most vulnerable learners when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Here, researchers describe some of the strategies they implemented. (September 17, 2020)

CCRC blog: What Does It Mean to Be a Caring Campus During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

It's important to connect with students and staff in ordinary times, but during the pandemic, fostering a sense of campus community is all the more crucial. In this blog post, experts offer solutions for keeping staff and students engaged and feeling supported while everyone is remote. (June 26, 2020)

CCRC blog: Resources for Advisors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Student support professionals across the country have transitioned to remote advising in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Here, CCRC's Andrea Lopez compiles resources for making the change effectively. (April 2, 2020)

In the news

The Student Experience

CCRC blog: Will Students Be Prepared for Community College Post-Pandemic?

This is blog post analyzes U.S. Census data to gauge how school has changed during the pandemic for students who said they planned to attend community college. Findings suggest future students may not be as well-prepared as prior community college cohorts. (April 29, 2021)

CCRC blog: Does It Hurt or Help Four-Year College Students to Take Community College Courses?

A new CCRC study finds that students who are primarily enrolled in four-year colleges but take some courses at two-year institutions benefit from doing so. Here, Maggie Fay and Vivian Yuen Ting Liu explain and contextualize the results of the study. (July 14, 2020)

In the news


CCRC blog: Letter From the Director: COVID Funding for Community Colleges

The next COVID-19 federal relief bill should more fairly distribute aid to community colleges, which educate a significant number of students belonging to communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. (August 10, 2020)

CCRC blog: How Will COVID-19 Affect Community College Funding?

Here, Davis Jenkins, John Fink, and Thomas Brock use Great Recession–era data as a potential blueprint for how community college funding may shift moving forward. (May 19, 2020)

In the news


CCRC blog: What Will Work Look Like for Community College Graduates in a COVID world?

This post highlights four key pandemic-related economic trends that are shaping American jobs and how community colleges can ensure students are prepared to thrive in this new world of work. (December 16, 2021)

CCRC blog: An Updated Look at Community College Graduates and the COVID-19 Pandemic

This post describes how, as the pandemic nears the end of its second year, community college degrees continue to protect graduates and whether initial pandemic-related disruptions are becoming permanent features of the labor market. (December 7, 2021)

CCRC blog: Community College Graduates and the COVID-19 Pandemic

This blog post uses Census data to examine how the pandemic affected community college graduates in the workforce. Clive Belfield and Tom Brock found that associate degree-holders faced significant hurdles, but their labor market experiences were less disrupted than those of high school graduates. (January 21, 2021)

CCRC blog: When Preparation Meets Opportunity: The Benefits of Integrated Credit and Noncredit Divisions During the Pandemic

The economic fallout from the pandemic makes it all the more important to align credit and noncredit workforce programming. High-quality, low-cost training that leads to living-wage jobs must be accessible. (November 17, 2020)

CCRC blog: Community Colleges and the Future of Work: Exploring Skill Demands Amid the Pandemic

Technology and the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted employment and accelerated changes to the workplace. Here, CCRC's Sarah Griffin and Maria Scott-Cormier describe three skills employers expect community college graduates to possess amid the evolving economic environment. (August 20, 2020)

In the news

Other Impacts

CCRC blog: Remote Data Collection: How CCRC Adapted Research Practices Amid the Pandemic

The pandemic prohibits CCRCers from conducting site visits and in-person data collection, but that doesn't mean they've stopped gathering information. Here are some of the challenges and opportunities presented by remote research. (November 24, 2020)

CCRC blog: Emerging Challenges the Coronavirus Poses for Community Colleges

Community colleges across the nation are adapting to teaching and learning amid the pandemic. This essay details some of the issues they're confronting during this transition, including maintaining equitable practice and financial stability. (April 7, 2020)

CCRC blog: Letter From the Director: Coronavirus Pandemic

CCRC is deeply concerned about how the coronavirus will affect community colleges and their students. Here, Director Thomas Brock reflects on responses to the pandemic thus far and describes the important role open-access institutions can play as the country rebuilds from this crisis. (March 25, 2020)

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