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Aug.  28, 2013
HCC ranked #12 in nation by Washington Monthly
WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College (HCC) is ranked in the top 50 community colleges in the nation in the 2013 Washington Monthly college rankings. More specifically, HCC ranks #12 on the list. Other North Carolina community colleges that made the list were Isothermal Community College at #17, Mayland Community College at #32 and Robeson Community College at #39. The top ranked college was Saint Paul College in Minnesota. HCC was ranked #25 in the publication's 2010 rankings.

"I just received an e-mail from a colleague congratulating me on HCC being ranked in the top 50 community colleges in the nation," said HCC President Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. "I am very pleased that HCC faculty and staff are being recognized for their noteworthy role in student engagement and student success by the Washington Monthly magazine."

The Washington Monthly ranking of America's best community colleges is based on two sources of information: the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and U.S. Department of Education measures of student retention and completion.

The CCSSE survey is managed by a non-profit organization of the same name housed at the University of Texas at Austin. The survey instrument is given to a representative sample of students at community colleges that choose to administer the survey. Since 2003, the CCSSE has been administered at the large majority of American community colleges. All CCSSE results are published at www.ccsse.org.

Because most community colleges do not administer the survey every year, results were combined from the three most recent available years: 2010, 2011 and 2012. For colleges that participated more than once, the most recent year was used. More than two-thirds of all community colleges—about 700 institutions—were included in the analysis. Results are published for the top 50 institutions.

The CCSSE survey is comprised of more than 100 questions on a range of topics including teaching practices, student workload, interaction with faculty and student support. The CCSSE combines the results of those questions into aggregate benchmark scores in five categories: "Active and Collaborative Learning," "Student Effort," "Academic Challenge," "Student-Faculty Interaction" and "Support for Learners." The benchmark scores are standardized to range from 0 to 100 with an average score of 50.

The CCSSE benchmarks comprise five-eighths of each college's ranking. As with any sample-based survey, CCSSE results have statistical margins of error. Readers should be mindful of this when interpreting the rankings, particularly when differences between colleges are small.

The remaining three-eighths of each college's ranking is based on data compiled annually by the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education. The first measure is the first-year retention rate, defined as the percentage of first-time fall enrollees who are still enrolled the following fall, or earn a degree or certificate during that time. The second measure is the percentage of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students who graduate or transfer within three years of enrolling. The third measure is the ratio of all degrees awarded during a given academic year to the number of full-time equivalent students enrolled, with two-year degrees given twice the weight of one-year degrees. This measure has the advantage of including students who enroll part-time or transfer in from other colleges, and as such are not included in the graduation and retention rate statistics.

All three measures are calculated as the average of results from the three most recent years. The data sources and methods used to calculate the three U.S. Department of Education statistics are identical to those used by the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
Halifax Community College's Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Primary Media Contact: Melanie Temple, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, mtemple295@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319

Secondary Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., dbarnes-rhoades128@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239