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Report: Michigan’s community colleges and universities helping more students find "success"

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A new report shows Michigan colleges and universities are graduating a greater percentage of their students.

The state’s Center for Educational Performance and Information has been tracking student “success” rates since 2009. 

The data show there has been incrementally improved graduation rates at Michigan’s community colleges and universities.

Credit CEPI

“We’re getting about 71% students completing by year six. Which is really not doing too bad compared to the national benchmark,” says Bob Murphy, with the Michigan Association of State Universities.  

Community colleges numbers are far below that. But officials say that’s due in part to community college students, in many cases, having a different focus.

Credit CEPI

Mike Hansen is president of the Michigan Community College Association. He says many community college students are looking to take a few courses to improve their chances of landing a job or improving their skills for the jobs they already have. Hansen says other students are taking classes with plans to transfer to a four-year school.

Still, the data show an increasing percentage of community college students earning degrees.

Hansen credits greater focus on preparing students with improved “success” rates.

“Rather than just giving a student a course catalogue and saying 'go find yourself,' this is more structured with a path,” says Hansen. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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