DOBSON — Surry Community College was rated on par with 22 other community colleges in the state on the 2009 critical success factor report.
The college met seven of the eight performance standards set by the North Carolina community college system. Only 11 of the 58 community colleges in the state met all eight standards.
The standards measured include: progress of basic skills students, passing rates on licensure and certification for first-time test takers, performance of college transfer students, passing rates in developmental courses, student satisfaction of completers and non-completers, curriculum student retention, graduation and transfer and client satisfaction with customized training.
“The results of this report indicate the continued success of our students in a number of important academic areas. Even in times of limited resources, our employees continue to remain focused on our mission. We are serving the citizens of our communities today, so that they can achieve their educational goals for a better tomorrow,” said Dr. Deborah Friedman, president of SCC.
The one standard not met by the college is passing rates on licensure and certification for first-time test takers. The state requires that 80 percent of students pass on the first try in order to meet the standard. SCC had 76 percent pass on the first try.
Students in the physical therapy assistant’s program, licensed practitioner nursing program, emergency medical technician program, basic law enforcement training program and cosmetology program must pass a licensure or certification test. However, those students may take the test as many times as they choose. Dr. Anne Hennis, vice president of planning, research and assessment, believes this is a factor in SCC not meeting that standard.
“They don’t know how serious it is for us that they don’t pass,” she said. “It is something we monitor constantly throughout the year. We will continue to monitor those occupations and monitor measures throughout the year.”
Basic skills students improved from 79 percent to 85 percent this year. These are the students studying to pass the GED. They are monitored on whether or not they meet the goals set for them.
“We have a team of dedicated basic skills instructors and coordinators who are conscientious about the students and their progress,” said Virginia Stammetti, director of basic skills. “We are proud that a large percentage of our basic skills students continue their education here at SCC in additional continuing education or curriculum courses.”
Developmental courses refer to courses such as reading, math and English which establish a learning foundation. Passing rates improved from 82 to 83 percent this year. According to Robin Hendrix, division chair of developmental studies, this improvement is due to the fact that instructors are teaching a more standardized, consistent curriculum.
Dr. George Sappenfield, vice president of corporate and continuing education, believes that the industry is being served well by the college. The college is performing at a 97-percent overall satisfaction rate with businesses and industry.
“We have been able to respond to the specific training and retraining needs of industries in a timely manner,” he said. “Businesses and industries are also excited about the possible future class offerings at centers to be located in Pilot Mountain and Elkin through the Golden LEAF community assistance grant.”
“I would say our clients are very happy with our services,” added Hennis.
The performance of college transfer students is also at the standard set by the state though it is a little below the system average.
“We have an equivalent performance comparable to NC native students,” said Hennis. “They are performing just as well as students in the UNC system.”
Curriculum student retention refers to students who enroll one fall semester and return the next fall. SCC has a 72-percent retention rate for a standard set at 65 percent. The system average is 69 percent.
Students at SCC are also happy, according to surveys conducted each year for a sample of graduates and non-returning students.
“We’ve always been a strong academic institution,” said Hennis. “We will continue to maintain the standards set in the past and try to improve.”
Contact Morgan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.