The ARCC Network brings together research teams from across the United States to explore strategies community colleges can use to bring back students who left during the COVID-19 pandemic, support their learning, and ensure they can succeed in the rapidly evolving post-pandemic economy.

Focused Research States

In addition to national research on enrollment and transfer trends and pandemic recovery spending, the ARCC Network will conduct surveys of community colleges and studies of pandemic recovery strategies in eight states. The ARCC Network includes six research teams and three lead organizations. Learn more about the teams and read their publications.

ARCC Network Projects

Enrollment and Transfer Trends

Spending of Federal Recovery Funds

Survey on Use of Federal Recovery Funds

Reengaging Tennessee Young Adults

California Safety Net Study

Florida Career and Tech Education

Virginia Workforce Recovery

Online Education in Los Angeles

California Community College Recovery

Latest Publications

Center for Education Policy Research | August 2023

Cover includes title of report

TBR—The College System of Tennessee | June 2023

CCRC | June 2023


Community Colleges and the Pandemic

Community college enrollments grew slightly in spring 2023 after large declines in the previous two years.

Compared with spring 2020, spring 2023 enrollment in community colleges was down more than 830,000 students.

In the California Community Colleges, Asian enrollment fell 11%, Black/African American enrollment fell 10%, Hispanic/Latinx enrollment fell 17%, and White enrollment fell 8% in the first 18 months of the pandemic.

Forty percent of public two-year college students enrolled exclusively in online courses in fall 2021, up from 15% in fall 2019. Another 25% took some online courses.

In fall 2020, 28% of households with a community college student did not have a computer and 33% did not have internet.

In 2019-20, 10% of California Community College students were enrolled in CalFresh food benefits.

Over $25 billion in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds were awarded to community colleges to respond to COVID-19.

What We’re Reading

Reports from the field on COVID recovery

ACT | June 2023

California Community Colleges | February 2023

AERA Open | December 2022