NEWS RELEASE DATE: Aug. 5, 2012 FOR USE: Immediate CONTACT: Steve Quakenbush
CNN Online Magazine Ranks GCCC Among Top 24 Community Colleges
CNNMoney listing focuses on student success rates at 786 institutions across all 50 U.S. states
A leading online Cable News Network publication has issued a ranking of U.S. community colleges, placing Garden City Community College among the top two in Kansas and the top 24 in the nation in terms of student success.
The listing, published by CNNMoney, was created by the American Institutes of Research, based in Washington, DC, and Matrix Knowledge Group, which maintains North American headquarters in Rockville, MD. It included 786 institutions in all 50 U.S. states and was based on two key statistics:
- The percentage of students who transferred to a baccalaureate institution within three years
- The percentage of students who graduated within three years.
The researchers combined the statistics to create a student success rate, and put GCCC at number 24 in the nation, with a rate of 66 percent. The occupational division of East San Gabriel Valley College, West Covina, Calif., earned the highest ranking, at 93 percent. The lowest was Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, NC, at five percent.
In Kansas, Independence Community College earned a success rate of 67 percent, the highest, followed by GCCC. The success rates at the other 17 Kansas community colleges ranged from 62 to 21 percent, though two were not listed, since the researchers only included institutions with 200 or more full-time freshmen enrolled.
“A ranking among the top two in our state and the top 24 in our nation is just another independent benchmark indicating the excellence in education that students find when they come to Garden City Community College,” said Dr. Herbert J. Swender, president. “These numbers speak for themselves, and they speak volumes.”
“The quality of our faculty and the depth and value of each student’s experiences on this campus clearly shine through in this report,” Swender added, “and so does the dedication and commitment that goes into the educational process here.”
CNNMoney, which published the report, is located at www.money.cnn.com, and serves as the online site for Fortune Magazine and Money Magazine. The site covers markets, commodities and business news, as well as personal finance and employment trends and information. The listing was developed as a way to help American families select which community colleges offer the best options for successful transfer to the university level.
“This is awesome news and it makes me proud of our students,” said Linda Morgan, GCCC Faculty Senate president and criminal justice instructor. “I think it’s obvious that we strive to excel in student success, and that our faculty and staff always consider the student to be number one. I also think we owe a lot of credit to the strength that GCCC gains from partnershipping.”
“We offer excellent programs and true academic excellence,” Morgan added. “I don’t think you’ll find stronger dedication anywhere.”
GCCC placed higher than 762 other U.S. colleges, including 15 Kansas institutions. Six Kansas colleges were ranked among the top 50, and one fell into the bottom 50 among the total of 786. While the list was issued earlier in the summer, it has only now begun to draw notice across the state, and was recently a topic of discussion for the Cowley County Community College Board of Trustees.
The magazine article on community college student success rates may be viewed at http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/07/pf/college/community-college/index.htm. The complete list is available at http://money.cnn.com/pf/college/community-colleges/?iid=EL.
The recognition by CNNMoney marks the second time this year that the local community college has earned a high national honor. In April, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named GCCC to a list of the top 10 percent of American community colleges, for the second consecutive year, based on graduation rates, degrees awarded, student retention rates and equity in student outcomes.