Two-Year College Graduation Rate Jumps To 38 Percent

Career College Central summary:

  • The average graduation rate at two-year colleges has increased from 21 percent to 38 percent, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The data on graduation rates at two-year institutions — which are published in new report, "Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2012" — is based on the number of full-time, first-time students seeking degrees or certificates in cohort year 2008. The study used information gathered through the department's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
  • The increase from 21 to 38 percent is due to doubling the time students were tracked for program completion — from within 100 percent of “normal time” to within 200 percent of normal time. IPEDS defines “normal time” as two years (four semesters or trimesters or six quarters, excluding summer terms) for an associate degree. That presents a more accurate picture of time to graduation, as most community college students attend school part time and thus take longer than two years to complete an associate degree.

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