Posted at 12 p.m. Oct. 11, 2016

VP: Completions down; completion rates up

Decrease attributed to drop in enrollment

While the number of completions at LCCC for students decreased in the 2015-16 school year, the overall completion rate increased.

According to Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Terry Harper, LCCC has the highest headcount for student completion in the state, while Ann Murray, director of institutional research, said that is because the college has the highest enrollment in the state. But the drop in enrollment at LCCC had a direct effect on the number of students who were awarded degrees and certificates. In the 2014-15 academic year, 857 certificates were awarded while only 810 certificates were awarded in 2015-16.

The number of completions the college awarded in 2015-16 year were:

“Completion rates are related to enrollment, and that may explain some changes,” Harper said. But Harper said the college wouldn’t have as many transfers because LCCC didn’t have as many students to transfer.

When calculating completion rates, the college also calculates a short-term improvement goal. The improvement goal is based on the current completion results plus 50 percent. It is designed to drive continuous improvement within the college.

Student completion rates also impact the number of student transfers. Students have the option to finish degrees at LCCC and then transfer to the University of Wyoming, if the university has a similar program. The college has worked with the university to write transfer agreements that guarantees students’ courses will transfer. Based on data received from the University of Wyoming, there were 167 transfers from LCCC in the 2015-16 year. Both Harper and Murray said that if students have a better experience and complete more credit hours at LCCC, then transferring to the University of Wyoming would be easier.

A new area the college looked at for completion this past year was the credit diploma. Credit diplomas are awarded to those who complete courses meant as training for specific careers. The college has implemented credit diplomas because they’re relevant to student completion. The college is looking at the success rate of credit diplomas as another asset for the school.

The college has been working to improve academic advising and planning in the past few years. With better advising, Harper said she thinks more students will complete degrees and transfer. Harper said the new advising model requires the career advisers to work with students and plan out their degrees. The career advisers now must meet up with the students when they are registering for classes, which helps students better understand what classes to take and plan what is needed for a degree.

For more information, see story about advising on Page 3.

More information

Graduates & graduation rates