GCC Graduation Rates Rank in U.S. Top 100

Rankings Look at Community College Graduation and Transfer Rates

Batavia, NY - A new report that ranks the top community colleges in the nation supports what leaders at Genesee Community College already knew — GCC is an excellent place to prepare for the future. Whether a student is gifted and talented or concerned about being “college ready,” GCC offers a breadth of options for students to discover and develop their strengths and are given every opportunity to graduate.

In reviewing Integrated Postsecondary Education System (IPEDS) data, a system of inter-related surveys conducted annually by the U.S. Department’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), GCC ranks better than most other comparable community colleges in preparing students to graduate.

With a 2010 graduation rate of 29 percent (the most recent IPEDS information available), GCC leads its peers in preparing first-time students to complete their degree within three years of full-time enrollment. While that statistic that may seem low compared to some high schools or baccalaureate institutions, it is the highest among a core group of 30 similar community colleges, and it is more impressive considering that 70 percent of GCC’s first-year students require remedial assistance in math comprehension and 36 percent require remedial reading.

The IPEDS data, which is completed by more than 7,500 institutions across the country each year, was recently charted by the American Institutes of Research and Matrix Knowledge Group. This report was picked up and reported in a story by CNNMoney, which placed GCC in the top 100 community colleges across the nation.

“The IPEDS data and follow-up report validate what we are most proud of at GCC—that we are a student-centered institution and we understand that students come to our doors with all kinds of interests, needs and capabilities,” said James M. Sunser, president of GCC. “At every level of this institution, student success is our primary motivator and it is reassuring to see this culture play out in nationwide statistics and reports.”

As a public “open enrollment” college, GCC is committed to providing educational experiences that promote the intellectual and social growth of all students. This means that GCC provides a dynamic student support program to assist those overcoming learning challenges, as well as robust honors and leadership programs that challenge and motivate the most articulate and gifted students.

IPEDS is an invaluable tool that not only helps colleges develop programs and guide faculty in reaching and fine tuning educational goals, but it also can help students select a college through its College Navigator tool (http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/). All institutions that participate in federal student aid programs are required to report IPEDS data. For a breakdown of Genesee’s IPEDS data, go to GCC’s website: http://www.genesee.edu/depts/ir/benchmarks.cfm.

The CNN story and IPEDS data reinforces two other recent GCC achievements. In April, GCC was one of the top 120 colleges recognized by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and invited to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Selected by data reflecting rates of graduation, transfer, retention, performance improvement and equity in completion outcomes—GCC submitted the follow-up application in late May. The ten finalists for the Aspen Prize will be announced in September 2012 and the winner is selected next spring.

Additionally, GCC is one of just 40 community colleges across the nation and the only New York State college to be chosen for the Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA), which is a new study that measures community college success under a different lens and matrix. The VFA uses longer term and an improved set of indicators to more accurately measure performance in the areas of community college readiness, student progress and completion, job preparation and employment. The VFA is a collaborative effort with the American Association of Community Colleges, Association of Community College Trustees and the College Board with a grant from the Gates and Lumina Foundation. For more information about VFA, visit www.aacc.nche.edu/vfa.

“IPEDS, Aspen and the VFA—these are all great indicators that GCC is great place to get ahead. So, while summer may be a good time to relax, it’s also the perfect time to start thinking about the future,” said President Sunser. “We encourage anyone who has ever considered college to visit one of our seven campus locations and consider enrolling this fall.”

All new fall 2012 registrants will have their name entered into a weekly drawing for Darien Lake tickets at each campus location in Albion, Arcade, Batavia, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw. For door-to-door directions to any campus location to go GCC’s website at www.genesee.edu.

For further information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.

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