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The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) today shared that the college sustained gains in its two-year graduation rates and doubled its historical three-year graduation rate to 30 percent, making CCRI among the best performing community colleges in New England.
According to data released by the college’s Institutional Research and Assessments team, CCRI saw an 18 percent two-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time students who started in Fall 2018, representing a two-year graduation rate four times the historical average of four percent.
For its three-year graduation rate, the rate by which community colleges are traditionally measured, CCRI saw a 30 percent three-year graduation rate, doubling its historical three-year graduation rate.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 13 percent of community college students graduate within two years and 22 percent graduate within three years, which makes CCRI’s two- and three-year graduation rates well above national averages.
In addition, the college had the largest graduating class and awarded more degrees and certificates in the 2019-2020 academic year than in the last two decades, helping to fuel the state’s economy and workforce.
“The dramatic improvement in our graduation rates is a direct result of the college’s focus on student success and completion,” said CCRI President Meghan Hughes. “It also proves what we know about community college students, which is they are absolutely capable of succeeding if they are given the opportunity and the tools to do so. I am incredibly proud of our students for sticking with their education no matter the challenges they face, and I am deeply grateful to our faculty and staff for leading the work that has led to the college’s tremendous improvements in the past several years.”
Since 2016, CCRI has implemented several measures to improve student outcomes, including developing a Master Schedule, which allows students to more efficiently take the classes needed to graduate on time with fewer superfluous credits; reforming developmental math and English to bring students into credit-bearing courses more quickly; and expanding to year-round learning with condensed winter and summer semesters.
In addition, CCRI adopted the Guided Pathways model to provide students with a clear path to graduation and a seamless transfer to a four-year institution. Community colleges that have implemented this model at scale are seeing three-year completion rates rise from averages of 22 percent to upwards of 40 percent.
Named America’s 2-Year College of the Year by Education Dive, CCRI is at the forefront of creating educational and career opportunity for thousands of community college students.
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest community college, enrolls nearly 20,000 students in credit-bearing programs and an additional 8,500 individuals in workforce development programs and adult education courses annually. CCRI also provides transportation education and certification to 14,000 Rhode Islanders each year. Classes and programs are offered at CCRI’s full-service campuses in Warwick, Lincoln, Providence and Newport, online and in partnership with the Westerly Education Center. For more information, visit www.ccri.edu.