Elgin Community College was one of 14 community colleges across the country -- and the only one in Illinois -- named as a leader in community college student completion and success rates.
Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit that's leading community college reform, designated ECC a 2012 College Leader for demonstrating sustained improvement and accomplishments on key student indicators, including student achievement and persistence, a news release from ECC said.
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"Our faculty and staff have been working diligently to make data-informed decisions to help close achievement gaps and remove barriers for our students," ECC President David Sam said. "This distinction affirms the outstanding leadership of our faculty members, administrators, staff, and board of trustees as they support our students in their daily efforts to achieve their dreams."
Elgin Community College was highlighted for increasing fall to spring retention rates from 67 percent in 2006 to 78 percent in 2010. The organization found that disaggregated data for black and Hispanic students also increased: from 51 to 67 percent for black students, from 67 to 80 percent for Hispanic students, and 72 to 78 percent for developmental education students from 2006 to 2010. Successful course completion also increased overall from 67 percent of course enrollments in 2006 to 72 percent in 2012. The total number of completed degrees and certificates has increased by 11 percent -- from 9 to 20 percent -- from 2006 through 2008, the release said.
The college attributes the gains to the Alliance for College Readiness, a partnership between ECC and four feeder districts -- Elgin Area School District U-46, Community Unit District 300, Central Unit District 301 and St. Charles Unit District 303 -- as well as the redesign of the first-year experience that provides support to all students pursuing a degree or certificate.