Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 2:36pm

JCC is the "Top Performing Public Two-Year College" in New York according to a recent report published by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the nation's leading publication of news and information about colleges and universities.

Titled "College Completion: Who Graduates from College, Who Doesn't, and Why It Matters," the report is a microsite created from research supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Factors taken into consideration in compiling the report included graduation rate, completions per every 100 students, cost per completion, spending per completion, student aid per recipient, and percentage of students receiving federal Pell Grants.

JCC topped the list of public two-year colleges which included 35 institutions from within the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) with at least 200 freshmen per year.

The Chronicle, citing JCC data from students entering college in the fall of 2007, reports JCC's graduation rate as 34.8 in 150% time and 30.2 in 100% time. New York's graduation rate averages were 19.6 and 10.9 respectively. As graduation rates at four-year colleges are typically measured in terms of six-year and four-year rates, 150% and 100% become the equivalent at two-year institutions as students seeking both associate degrees and certificates are included.

"This report is a point of pride for both JCC and the communities that support the college," said JCC President Gregory T. DeCinque. "JCC is delivering on its promises and doing so with great efficiency."

Dr. DeCinque noted that the report lists JCC's spending per completion at $46,354 while the state's average for two-year public colleges is $67,695. The data considered expenses related to instruction, student services, academic support, institutional support, operations, and maintenance. "By visiting JCC's facilities and experiencing the high quality of education being delivered, it's clear to see that this college delivers a tremendous return on investment to the public," he said.

According to Marilyn A. Zagora, vice president and dean of academic affairs at JCC, credit for the top ranking goes to the college's faculty, staff, and students.

"This is a report that measures performance," Dr. Zagora stressed. "The factors considered in the report are the outcomes of the work of dedicated faculty and staff whose commitment to quality is the foundation of all they do to teach students and support them in various ways.

"At the same time," Dr. Zagora said, "this report reminds us that JCC is unique among community colleges in that we serve high numbers of students who were top scholars in their high school classes. That is not likely to be the same profile found at every community college. Through opportunities including the Unified Student Assistance (USA) Scholarship, our honors program, and our strong transfer articulation agreements, JCC attracts high academic achievers who are confident that a JCC education will connect them to their goals and prepare them for both career success and the pursuit of bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctorates."

“Of note, the report does not count in its measures a number of other types of students for whom JCC is the springboard to college accomplishments such as those who choose JCC to begin a degree with plans to transfer elsewhere to continue their studies, those who “stop out” for a semester or more, but then return to JCC to continue making progress on their degrees, and part-time students who choose to pursue a degree over a longer time period, often while balancing family and work with their college experience,” Dr. Zagora said. “These students represent hundreds of other success stories not captured in this data.”

New York's other top performing institutions listed in the Chronicle report were the United States Military Academy among public universities, Vassar College among private colleges, and Monroe College at New Rochelle among for-profit colleges.
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