Lakeland Community College is ranked No. 2 among two-year public colleges nationwide based on a combination of three student success measures, according to a recent report by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the leading publication for the higher education sector. The Chronicle's analysis used data from the U.S. Department of Education.
The report, titled "How Low Graduation Rates Camouflage Student Success at Community Colleges," examined first-time, full-time degree or certificate seeking student cohorts that began in fall 2015 and focused on three goals: (1) graduating within 150% of the normal time, known as "completion"; (2) transfer-out rates to four-year colleges; and (3) the number of those students still enrolled in 2018.
Lakeland's cohort had a completion rate of 13.3%, a transfer rate of 33.5%, and 50.7% were still enrolled, totaling more than 97% of students who accomplished one of those three educational goals. The average combined score for all 838 community colleges was 57.6%.
"Completion rates alone don't tell the whole story about student success," said Laura C. Barnard, executive vice president and provost at Lakeland. "Some students transfer to four-year institutions before earning their associate's degree, but they still benefit by saving thousands of tuition dollars by starting at a community college."
"Other students start working on their degrees, but have to leave to deal with family issues or enter the workforce. They may end up finishing their degrees, but not in the timeframe used in reports," explained Barnard.
Lakeland President Morris W. Beverage Jr. says community colleges also enroll a disproportionate number of students from low-income families and students who are the first in their family to attend college. "These students are dealing with financial constraints, transportation issues and child care needs, which can hinder their goal of earning a college degree in a traditional timeframe," said Beverage.
"At Lakeland, we are taking a human-centered, design thinking approach to improve student success," said Beverage. "We're here to help students reach their educational goals to improve their lives, regardless of whether or not that leads to a degree and however long it takes them."
About Lakeland Community College
For more than 50 years, Lakeland Community College has impacted thousands of lives through learning. Founded in 1967, Lakeland was the first college in Ohio created by a vote of the people. True to its mission, the college provides quality learning opportunities to more than 9,000 credit students to meet the needs of the community at its main campus in Kirtland and online. Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, Lakeland offers more than 130 associate degree and certificate programs that may lead to high-demand careers or transfer to four-year institutions. The college also provides access to bachelor's, graduate and doctorate degrees along with certificates and endorsements on campus through the Holden University Center of Lakeland in partnership with 11 four-year institutions.
About The Chronicle Of Higher Education
Founded in 1966, The Chronicle of Higher Education is the leading national news publication that covers colleges and universities exclusively. It features award-winning journalism that delves into topics of particular and unique interest to administration and faculty who work in higher education. Visit chronicle.com for more information.