Posted at 3 p.m. Sept. 28, 2016

President awards college
a B

College performance continues

to improve

Laramie County Community College is closer to state community college goals, but many areas still need improvement.

On Aug. 23, President Dr. Joe Schaffer made his annual convocation speech. New staff members were introduced and budget issues were discussed, but the bulk of the speech addressed the annual LCCC report card, which had an overall grade of B.

LCCC and community colleges across Wyoming have set a goal to increase the number of student completions in each school by 5 percent each year until 2022. Schaffer said it is a significant climb but LCCC is committed to the improvement. LCCC will have to award 1,100 certificates and degrees by 2022 to meet this goal.

Schaffer said the goal was blown out of the water in the first two years but in 2015-16, LCCC fell just short. LCCC awarded 810 degrees and certificates, but 829 were needed to meet that goal. But overall, LCCC has seen a 20 percent increase in credentialing students since 2013.

Many LCCC programs have also shown significant improvement. The Mass Media program is relatively small, there were only 8 graduates, but it showed a 300 percent increase in completions in 2015. History came in second with a 133.3 percent increase, welding showed a 125 percent increase and Auto Tech came in third with an 118 percent increase. All LCCC programs have shown a 69.75 percent average increase. These improvements help LCCC meet its completion goals.

Enrollment was also discussed in the speech. Schaffer said overall enrollment has been in decline since 2012 but there was a 37 percent increase in new student enrollment from fall 2015 to 2016. There was a 27 percent increase in transfer students between 2015 and 2016 and a 3.7 percent increase in returning degree seekers from fall 2014 to 2016. Schaffer credited dedicated advisers for being a major factor in these improvements.

Other areas are starting to form a clearer picture of success on campus.

Schaffer said, “This is really the first year we really have robust institutional competency data because we actually have a three-year history.”

This data shows a 40 percent increase in first-time, full-time students and a 3.3 percent increase in course success rates over the last year. The higher success rates bring more performance-based funding to the school. Performance-based funding will rise from $800,000 in fiscal year 2014 to more than $2 million in fiscal year 2018.

Data showed an increase in high school equivalency programs with a 61 percent completion rate in developmental math and 76 percent completion rate in subsequent courses. Developmental English was a more mixed bag with a 55 percent success rate in developmental courses and a 70 percent rate in subsequent courses.

The data also shows fiscal stewardship goals are close to being achieved. Instruction expenditures are at 47 percent, which is only 3 percent from the 50 percent goal. Expenditures in student services and academics are only 1 percent off of the 70 percent goal with 69 percent.

College affordability shows positive results. The net price of attendance is going down and the number of students receiving privately funded aid is rising. Schaffer noted the administration is always working to keep LCCC affordable.

The last issue on the report card was campus climate. Student engagement is rising and employee grievances are at zero but Schaffer said turnover rates need a lot of work.

More articles:

Improvement seen
in the college report card