Glendale Community College scores well on state report

Glendale Community College ranks above statewide averages for student success, according to a recent accountability report that compared more than 100 other campuses.

Glendale Community College was measured on eight levels, such as in student pass rates for basic classes, their completion of vocational programs and success in transferring to four-year institutions.

By following student achievement in up to six-year periods, the report can shed light on whether state funds are being put to good use, said Edward Karpp, dean of research, planning and grants at Glendale Community College.

He said the report’s findings validate efforts at the campus.

“It has shown over the past several years that we are above the statewide average on all of these measures,” Karpp said. “It shows we are doing a good job.”

In terms of student progress and achievement, Glendale Community College ranked sixth out of 23 colleges defined as “peers” by the state for having 62% of first-time students from 2005 to 2011 transfer to a four-year school, earn a certificate worth 18 or more units, or prepare to transfer.

That ranking alone placed the college first out of 14 Los Angeles-area colleges, including Pasadena City College, Santa Monica College and Pierce College.

Statewide, 6.5% of students earned a degree, passed a degree applicable course or prepared to transfer from 2008 to 2011. Glendale nearly doubled that average to 12%.

Los Angeles Valley College ranked higher than Glendale and more than 40 other colleges in the same category, with 24% of their students achieving one of the milestones.

Glendale Community College also ranked sixth out of 109 colleges for having 80% of first-time students from 2005 to 2011 earn at least 30 units.

“We’re very proud of our faculty and staff,” said Board of Trustees President Armine Hacopian, adding that faculty members are taking in more students than before amid tough financial times that have forced the college to reduce class offerings.

“They’re demanding high-quality work, and our students are performing,” she said. “The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place.”

At Glendale, 78% of students also passed vocational courses — higher than the statewide average of 73%, putting the campus in the No. 27 position out of 113 colleges.

But student success in basic skills classes is one area where Glendale Community College officials want further improvement.

From 2010 to 2011, 64% of Glendale Community College students completed basic courses, such as remedial math and English. This rank placed the college 41st out of 113 colleges and behind Pasadena City College, where 68% of students completed the courses.

“We are definitely targeting this as one of our initiatives on campus,” Karpp said.

Next year, a new accountability report will provide information on age, gender and ethnicity to make it easier to target achievement gaps, he added.


Follow Kelly on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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