SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College ranks second in North Carolina and 65th in the nation in helping its students graduate or transfer, according to research done for CNNMoney.
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A June 7 article on its web site, "Community college: How to avoid 'dropout factories'," discussed a report by College Measures, a joint venture of the American Institutes of Research and the Matrix Knowledge Group. At the request of CNNMoney, College Measures developed a searchable "success rating," for community colleges based on each school's federally reported graduation and transfer rates.
It included the rankings for all community colleges in the nation with a full-time freshman enrollment of 200 or more. The colleges were ranked based on the percentage of students who graduated with an associate degree or transferred to a four-year college or university within three years.
"We know that CCCC is an excellent institution," said college President Bud Marchant. "This research and report helps us get the message out that those who come to CCCC seeking a foundation for success find it. Our students who do go on to four-year colleges and universities generally perform better than students who started their careers at those institutions."
CNNMoney pointed out that tuition at four-year colleges is skyrocketing, so a growing number of high school seniors are looking to community colleges as a low-cost option. It said that there is very little standardized information to help students compare community colleges. This ranking provides one more tool in helping them select colleges with proven track records of graduating students and sending them on to four-year institutions.
"CCCC's board of trustees is extremely proud of the administration, faculty and students in making the college the outstanding institution it is," said Julian Philpott, chairman of the board of trustees. "We were ranked second in North Carolina, but we feel we are No. 1. We are excited about the prospects of the college as it continues to evolve. It will continue to provide training for better paying jobs and bring new jobs and industries to our service area. The report indicates that our university transfer program is highly successful - it's a testament to our outstanding faculty and the quality of students we have at CCCC."
In an accompanying article, "6 tips for picking the best community college," Thomas Bailey, director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University, offered six criteria to use in choosing a community college: graduation/transfer rate, finding out from the college or university one wants to attend from which community colleges it accepts the most students, whether the community college has an honors program, whether the community college has any guaranteed transfer programs with four-year institutions, the success rates of the specific program one is interested in, and whether the college offers remedial courses, if needed.
CCCC does well in these areas, according to Marchant. For example, honor students are recognized by induction into the Phi Theta Kappa national honor society. College graduates are guaranteed acceptance into one of the University of North Carolina System and the college has articulation agreements with other universities. If students come needing remedial help, it is provided.
To view the complete CNNMoney article, go online to money.cnn.com/2012/06/07/pf/college/community-college/index.htm. To view the ranking chart, go to money.cnn.com/pf/college/community-colleges. For more information about Central Carolina Community College, visit online at www.cccc.edu.
John-Kevin Frazee, formerly of Dunn, graduated from Central Carolina Community College's Laser and Photonics Technology program in 2011. He now works for Synoptics, a division of Northrop Grumman. The college has the only LPT program at a North Carolina community college and is one of only about a dozen in the nation to train students on high-power lasers. Its graduates are in great demand.