In the past two years, East Central College’s graduation rate has climbed by 14 percent.
The ECC graduation rate was 35 percent in 2019, thanks to a 6 percent boost over the 2018 rate. In addition, there was an 8 percent increase from 2017 to 2018.
The recently released graduation rates are a performance measure for Missouri community colleges and a meter of institutional quality, ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said.
More importantly, he added, the rates are an indicator that students are achieving their desired educational outcome.
”These numbers show the dedication of our faculty and staff to student learning,” Dr. Bauer said. “It also allows us to communicate to students, employers and the community the value of East Central College.”
There have been multiple factors contributing to the increase rate, including the reduction in credit hours for an associate degree. In 2017 credit hour requirements were reduced, shortening the distance to the finish line for students and eliminating the need to attend a summer term in order to be graduated in two calendar years.
In addition, over the past several years the Mathematics Pathways Project was adopted which reduced the number of math courses for nearly all of ECC students. Prior to the project implementation, most students needed to take three to four math courses to graduate — today most just take one or two math courses.
The ECC advising team in 2016 fostered a culture of steering students to classes that were aligned with student needs.
The advisers guide students to where they need to be in order to succeed. Advisers also have a great expertise in degree programs, allowing them to better serve the students.
The ECC advisement team develops a report weekly to identify when students register for courses that are outside of their academic programs, helping to keep students on target.
By the Numbers
The last time that graduation rate was over 30 percent was in 2005 when it was 33 percent. The rate has been getting higher since 2013 when it was at 17 percent.
It grew to 18 percent in 2014. The rate stayed at 18 percent the following year, but then grew to 20 percent in 2016, 21 percent in 2017; and 29 percent in 2018.
There were 183 degrees and certificates in 2019 compared to 157 degrees and certificates in 2018 at ECC. There were 122 degrees and certificates in 2017.
In addition, the number of students who either graduated or transferred onto a four-year college or university, increased from 45 percent in 2017, to 50 in 2018 and to 55 percent in 2019.