RLC graduation rate fifth in the U.S. among peer institutions

INA, Ill. (Aug. 31. 2012) – Rend Lake College lands fifth on the latest top 10 list of public community colleges in the nation with the best graduation rates.  
    First-time, full-time students at RLC complete their degree 50.3 percent of the time, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Almanac of Higher Education. In the article “Colleges With the Best 6-Year and 3-Year Graduation Rates in 2010,” the Chronicle compared public two-year colleges across the country with at least 500 freshmen entering in the fall of 2007. It tracked these students to find out how many earn their degree within 150 percent of the normal time it takes to do so.
    President Terry Wilkerson said he is proud to see RLC representing Illinois on a list of the best colleges across the country. He also said there is still much work to be done.
    “We need to continue to strive to improve on this,” said Wilkerson. “The fact that 50 percent makes us fifth in the nation is not acceptable. That’s not good enough. We are going to keep our focus on our students and their success, and work hard to help them accomplish what they come here to do.”

2-year public colleges 
 Rank  Institution

Graduation rate within 150 percent of normal time to earn degree

 1  Lake Area Technical Institute (S.D.)  73.5%
 2  De Anza College (Calif.)  59.8%
 3  Middle Georgia Technical College  54.5%
 4  Alexandria Technical and Community College (Minn.)  51.0%
 5  Rend Lake College (Ill.)  50.3%
 6  Northeast Community College (Neb.)  49.2%
 7  Snow College (Utah)  47.3%
 8  Chippewa Valley Technical College (Wis.)  47.1%
 9  Western Technical College (Wis.)  45.7%
 10  Foothill College (Calif.)  45.6%

Wilkerson added an interesting trend he sees in the Chronicle’s report.
    “Smaller schools are producing the best completion rates across the country,” he said. “Most of these schools, like us, have less than 6,000 students and a majority of the colleges on this list are located in a place with around 20,000 or less residents.”
    According to the report, the information comes from the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or IPEDS, as well as the Voluntary System of Accountability’s Success and Progress Rate. This data is from 2010. For its overall report, the Chronicle looked at 3,800 degree-granting institutions in the United States and showed the top 10 for four-year public and private universities, two-year public colleges, and for-profit colleges. The article can be found online at www.chronicle.com.


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