The Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) recently released its the first-ever study of the region’s institutions of higher education (IHE’s) that measures the collective impact of the 62 colleges, universities and other post-secondary institutions that serve a quarter million students. The study concludes: collective costs are low, while collective value is high. That conclusion holds true for LCCC as well.
“In today’s economy having a high-skilled and educated talent is a key indicator of a region’s ability to thrive economically,” said Lorain County Community College President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D. “Our region has a distinct advantage with an exceptional fabric of highly-regarded institutions of higher education; that’s evident. But this study helps us understand how we collectively contribute to growing the talent companies need and where we need to focus going forward.”
LCCC is one of seven community colleges included in the study serving the Northeast Ohio region. The report was released on August 30. In several areas showcased in the report LCCC’s impact is above its proportionate share of community college enrollment.
Highlights Specific to LCCC’s impact include:
- LCCC is preparing a highly educated workforce to meet regional employment needs. While LCCC served 17.5 percent of all community college students, LCCC awarded 22 percent of all community college certificates and degrees in the northeast Ohio. Furthermore, LCCC produced 19 percent of the community college STEM graduates, also greater than its share of total community college enrollment.
- LCCC students pursue higher levels of education and complete. Statewide, LCCC had the highest six-year baccalaureate graduation rate for transfer students at 63 percent. Recent research shows that community college students who transfer to a four-year institution within the same region are more likely to graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years. This is one of the reasons LCCC’s University Partnership emphasizes many four-year partnerships within our region and where students can earn a bachelor’s degree from the LCCC campus.
- LCCC serves a greater proportion of minority and first-generation college students. LCCC served almost one-third of all Latino students who are enrolled in seven community colleges with the region. First generation college students comprised an average 57 percent of LCCC’s fall enrollment, which is comparable to community colleges in the region (58 percent), while only 36 percent of students at four-year institutions are first generation.
- LCCC is a leader in dual enrollment, delivering college credit to high school students saving students and families thousands in college debt. LCCC served 20 percent of all northeast Ohio community college students under the age of 18, above LCCC’s share of total enrollment. Each year, LCCC delivers more than 20,000 college credits to high school students saving them and their families over $1.8 million in college tuition.
- LCCC continues commitment to affordability, while delivering exceptional value. LCCC students receive a high quality education that prepares them to compete for good paying jobs or to transfer on to a four-year institution. LCCC students pay less for that value. In fact, average student net cost to attend LCCC is 50 percent less per year than the average of other Northeast Ohio community colleges and 80 percent less than the average student share of cost at four-year universities in the region. To keep student costs low, LCCC, in addition to its University Partnership, has negotiated 3+1 agreements with universities allowing transfer students to earn three years of college towards a bachelor degree at LCCC rates, which are second lowest in the state of Ohio.
“These results are a direct outcome of the vision this community has embraced for its community college,” said Ballinger. “I am not surprised by the findings, but rather inspired on how we, through LCCC’s current Vision 2020, can make an even greater impact. With a growing number of baby boomers retiring, we need all segments of our population to have the skills and education to fill the jobs employers need. This includes ensuring those who are most under-resourced have the full opportunity to compete for these good paying jobs.”
LCCC’s Vision 2020 is focused on empowering a thriving community through three strategic initiatives:
- Drive Student Completion for Academic and Career Success
- Lead Talent Development While Accelerating Business and Job Growth
- Inspire Community Engagement, Connectively Diversity and Wellness