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Staff photo, Shea Johnson
A student walks through campus at Barstow Community College on Wednesday afternoon.

Keeping score

Public can view yearly progress reports for local colleges

STAFF WRITER
Top student completion rate* of seven junior colleges in the High Desert and Inland Empire:

• 1. Cerro Coso College (Ridgecrest) 49.9%

• 2. Antelope Valley College (Lancaster), 46%

• 3. Chaffey College (Rancho Cucamonga), 45.6%

4. Barstow Community College, 41.7%

• 5. College of the Desert (Palm Desert), 39.2%

6. Victor Valley College, 38.6%

• 7. San Bernardino Valley College, 35.6%

*Defined as a graduate, transfer or certificate-earner and reported on through 2011-12 school year and six years prior.

Source: California Community Colleges 2013 Student Success Scorecard

The rate that local junior colleges turn out graduates, transfers and certified students are key identifiers of success, and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has launched an effort to make that data more transparent.

Tuesday’s release of the yearly Student Success Card marks the start of a new venture from the CCCO expected to shine a brighter light on student performance at each of the 112 junior colleges in the state.

A peek at local junior colleges’ scorecards show approximately 42 percent of Barstow Community College students and 39 percent of students at Victor Valley College earned a degree, certificate or transferred to a four-year university during a six-year timeframe.

The scorecard also reveals that nearly 64 percent of BCC students and roughly 73 percent of VVC students identified as “college prepared” reached a form of completion.

A student is deemed college prepared when his or her lowest math and/or English attempted is at the college level.

The scorecard tracked students for six years through the 2011-12 school year and includes a college profile; rates of graduation, transfer and certificate earning; rates of students who enroll in their first three consecutive terms (labeled “persistence”); rates of students who complete at least 30 units; rates of remedial progress in math and English; and rates for graduates, transfers and certificate-earners who complete several vocational courses.

While completion is an important statistic, another important factor is how each college improves on past performances, according to Jamail D. Carter, BCC’s interim dean of research, planning and development.

“One of the things you’ll start to see,” Carter explained, “is (the scorecard) allowing colleges to track their progression. Five years, 10 years out, we should see upticks (in performance).”

Carter called these first scorecards “a baseline” and noted that subsequent scorecards should constitute “a time of self-reflection.”

Victor Valley College spokesman Bill Greulich said changes to how data is calculated — set to take effect in the fall — would provide more favorable returns in the future.

“It helps us take a look at what the standards are,” Greulich said. “ We have examined (statewide data) each year and have addressed internally the things that might be done. And there’s no question, improvement is something that we’re all shooting for.”

Visit http://scorecard.cccco.edu/scorecard.aspx and select a college from the drop-down menu to access its 2013 scorecard.

Shea Johnson can be reached at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com or 760-256-4126.


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