College educators examine success rates

At Glendale Community College, 54% of students who were tracked from 2007 through 2013 went on to earn a certificate, degree or transfer to a four-year school, according to data released this week showing the college’s student-success rates.

Across the state, an average of 48% of students achieved the same success, putting the college six percentage points higher than the state average and well above the 41% average reached by campuses in the Los Angeles area.

The figures are part of a data set that makes up Glendale Community College’s “Student Success Scorecard,” giving the Glendale campus and fellow community colleges a comprehensive look into whether or not students are prepared for college, how they perform in remedial and regular classes and whether they are on a path to a degree.

Significant achievement gaps among certain ethnic subgroups emerged as a common thread throughout the data, said Edward Karpp, dean of research, planning and grants for the college, during a trustee meeting on Tuesday.

“Those gaps persist and they exist for most of these measures,” Karpp said.

About 30% of Hispanic students who enrolled at the college — initially unprepared to take college-level math or English classes — would go on to complete a degree, certificate or transfer. That compares to the 47% of Armenian students, 47% of white, non-Armenian students and 46% of Asian students who did the same.

Meanwhile, 41% of Glendale’s Filipino students who were not ready to take college-level math or English classes went on to complete a degree, certificate or transfer, while just 32% of black students accomplished the same.

“It tells me that we have a lot of work to do,” said college trustee Vahe Peroomian.

Mary Mirch, vice president of instructional services, said educators have tried offering students various pathways to successfully complete college courses they may find challenging.

One option gives students the choice to spend two semesters taking a math class that would typically be offered for a single semester.

“We are trying as many different options as we can come up with for the underprepared,” she said.

The figures also showed that 81% of female students on the Glendale campus proved to be more “persistent,” meaning they enrolled in three consecutive semesters upon starting at the college, compared to 74% of male students.

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