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GCC outscores other schools

Student achievement ranking is tops in the region.

January 20, 2012|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com
  • Glendale Community College Biology Professor Shelley Thai, Ph.D., talks about cancer development during discussion at GCC on Tuesday, February 22, 2011. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Glendale Community College Biology Professor Shelley…

Glendale Community College is outstripping statewide averages, as well as many of its regional peers, in key assessment categories, including student progress, achievement rates and vocational course completions, according to a statewide report.

Accountability Reporting for the Community Colleges, commonly known as ARCC, was first implemented by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in 2007 and serves as a database by which officials can gauge performance.

It consists of eight assessment categories, and ranks colleges within specific state-defined peer groups and geographic regions, as well as statewide.

Glendale Community College was a strong performer in all of the categories, said Edward Karpp, dean of research, planning and grants, while recapping the 2011 report during a meeting Tuesday.

“This is the first year since the data were first presented in 2007 where GCC’s numbers are above the statewide averages and above the peer group averages for all of the eight measures in the ARCC system,” Karpp said. “We have always done really well, but this year it is even clearer that we are above most of the other colleges.”

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Glendale Community College ranked first in Region 7 — which includes 14 Los Angeles County community colleges — in student progress achievement rates from 2004-05 through 2009-2010, with 61.8% of those intending to either transfer to a four-year institution or earn an associate’s degree or certificate within six years. Statewide, the college ranked 15th in the category.

“It is the overall measure that shows how well students are succeeding, so that is a good one to be at the top on,” Karpp said of the category.

Glendale Community College also was No. 1 both regionally and within its state-defined peer group in first-time students — 80.3% — who declared an intent to complete at least 30 units, and then did so.

“We had a lot of colleges in our peer group and we were at the top on the percent of students who earned at least 30 units,” Karpp said.

The college landed near the top in other regional and statewide rankings in categories including students who successfully completed vocational courses — 77.5% — and students who successfully completed basic skills courses — 64.1%.

“I really thank and applaud our faculty and staff, because it is due to you that these numbers have gone up to the level where now we can brag,” college trustee Vahe Peroomian said.

Glendale Community College ranked fourth regionally in the two basic skills categories — course completion and improvement rates. Sixty-four percent of students passed their basic skills courses, and 59.4% of basic skills students went on to pass a higher-level English or math class with three years.

The college was recently awarded two Title V grants totaling more than $10 million that are designed to bolster its basic skills offerings, Karpp noted.

“We are putting a lot of resources into basic skills improvement, so I would predict that we will see higher basic skills success over the next years,” Karpp said. “If what we are doing, which is state-of-the-art in the Title V areas, doesn’t improve success, I don’t know what will.

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