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College reviews success scorecard

Jack Barnwell
jbarnwell@tahoedailytribune.com

A report breaking down Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) effectiveness highlighted areas where the college has thrived and where it needs to improve during a board meeting on Tuesday.

College president Kindred Murillo said the report, used for accreditation purposes, acts as scorecard tracking student success and demographics.

Murillo pointed out the data tracks information based on a cohort of first-time students beginning in the 2008-2009 school year through 2013-2014.



The data collected for the current scorecard notes that a full third of its students were 40 years or older versus 19 percent statewide, and another 29.5 percent fell between 25 and 39 years of age.

The information was based on the 2013-2014 academic year.



“It shows we have a lot more lifelong learners and lot more people coming back for a second chance,” Murillo said.

Murillo said changes have occurred in the current year, including a 7-percent increase in student enrollment and a slight increase in the Latino student population.

LTCC hit the state average of students who needed to take remedial math (51.2 percent) and English (42.1 percent) courses, or those below transfer-level to four year universities. The college lacks data for students enrolled in English as a second language courses.

Approximately 28 percent of its enrollment is first-generation college students.

Murillo said the students who were unprepared for college did nearly as well as those who were prepared, though it ranked lower than the state average.

The percentage of LTCC students who earned a degree or certificate was 39 percent, or 168 students. This was down from 203 students in the 2012-2013 year.

Of that group, 59-percent were college prepared and 30-percent were not.

Statewide the average is 49 percent completion.

LTCC has, however, retained a large portion of its students from beginning to end of term, though it has fallen to 91.4 percent from 95.2 percent in 2012-2013.

Data showed that among eight small colleges, LTCC ranked sixth for awarding associates degrees in proportion to its full-time students and fifth among awarding certificates. LTCC ranked fourth and third place respectively in 2012-2013.

It ranked second among eight small colleges in four-year transfers, down from first place in 2012-2013.

Preliminary results show that LTCC only captured 28.4 percent of South Tahoe High School’s 2014 graduating class within one year of graduation, down from 33.8 percent in 2013 and 41.4 percent in 2012.

Limitations and improvements

She said the report has its limitations, since LTCC has a low enrollment and the region has a high transient population. She also noted that students who graduated within two years aren’t reflected in the six-year cohort scorecard.

At the time the scorecard concept was conceived, average community college enrollment was six years for students.

Murillo said the college should revisit how it conducts data collection forr tis scorecard, such as tracking a three-year group of students rather than over six years.

Murillo recommended integrating different reporting methods into one single format for continuity and improved data.

Another concern was the transfer rates and the fact that it focused on University of California and California State University systems.

While the state requirements for the new reporting standard have some merits, she added that California’s small colleges varied compared to the larger ones.

The report provides framework from which the college can set goals. Murillo recommended outreach and early college awareness and set a goal of capturing 50 percent of South Tahoe High’s graduating class in 2017.

Other goals include increasing the number of degree and certificate earning students in 2016-2017 to 260 and number of transfer students to 75 percent to the UC and CSU systems.

Since LTCC sits near the Nevada-California border, the numbers tend to be skewed. Four of the top transfer schools are in Nevada, including the University of Nevada, Reno.

Additionally, a number of students transfer to two-year schools, including Sacramento City College. Only 53 percent went to four-year colleges.

Murillo said overall that it could be an opportunity to take ownership of how it can be judged on success.

“We know we are being judged by the state of California but what do we want to be judged on,” Murillo said.


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