Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Survey gives SCC high graduation marks

August 10, 2004

Survey gives SCC high marks

By Audrey Wong

ROCKVILLE -- Solano Community College ranked second among 20 Bay Area community colleges in a survey measuring graduation rates conducted by an educational research and consulting firm.

SCC came in second to Napa Valley College, according to the rankings published by FirstDegree, an East Bay firm.

The firm studied the number of associate of arts degrees given, full-time equivalent student population and other factors from the 2002-03 school year.

Napa Valley College reported a graduation rate of 34 percent, surpassing SCC, which had a 31.1 percent graduation rate.

Colleges in the South Bay and the Peninsula didn't fare as well. Los Medanos, Foothill and Canada community colleges were at the bottom of the rankings, each posting a graduation rate below 10 percent. The Bay Area average graduation rate was 15.9 percent for the 2002-03 school year, according to FirstDegree.

SCC officials didn't know about the survey, said James Bracy, SCC vice president of students services. Educational firms often send out questionnaires to community colleges and this must have been one of them, Bracy said.

"It shows you there is good quality teaching and learning taking place," Bracy said.

FirstDegree promotes the value of associate degrees. The firm noticed students attending colleges in more rural areas did better than those who go to colleges in bigger cities, said Gene Judson, company president.

For information log onto www.firstdegree.biz

Audrey Wong can be reached at 427-6951 or awong@dailyrepublic.net.

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