Further Learning From Aspen Top 150 Distinction

As we continue to look at PVCC’s student success data used in determining our selection in the Aspen Top 150 Community Colleges, it is critically important to look at the completion rates of our part-time students. Aspen defined this cohort as the percentage of first-time and non-first-time, part-time degree/certificate seeking students in the fall semester that complete any formal award (certificate or Associate degree) within 8 years. Below is where PVCC falls:

National Community College Average PVCC  Aspen Top 150 Median
21.8% 17.0% 27.9%

While the earlier reported PVCC student data focusing on full-time students showed us exceeding the national community college rates in all categories and exceeding the Aspen Top 150 in two out of the three categories, clearly there are opportunities for improvement in the overall completion rates of our part-time students. 

The Aspen Institute also takes into account another student success factor – graduation rates of Pell recipients. Below is where PVCC falls:

National Community College Average PVCC Aspen Top 150 Median
26.4% 22.2% 35.6%

As you can see the level of student success in the Top 150 community colleges in the nation is extremely competitive. I share this additional information as it informs our work with part-time and students on financial aid. As we prepare to “roll out” our updated SEM Plan, implement the teaching and learning strategies gleaned from our HLC Quality Initiative, and use the 4DX operational model to improve student success, we need to be extra focused on these two student populations. 

Our aspiration to become one of the Aspen Top 10 will only be achieved through a more holistic approach to student success beyond the full-time student experience.