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BCC National Leader in Awarding Associate Degrees

June 25, 2012 - Brevard Community College is among the national leaders in awarding associate degrees, ranking 19th in the U.S. and topping all other community colleges in Florida.

BCC also ranks 13th in awarding associate degrees in science technologies and technicians, 68th in associate degrees earned by African-American students, and 76th in associate degrees earned by students in all minority groups — all among the best in the country.

The findings come from an annual study conducted by Community College Week magazine, which used data from the National Center for Education Statistics to determine the standings for 2011.

The magazine examined information from more than 1,200 community colleges in its analysis, which showed BCC awarded a total of 2,961 associate degrees. That’s up from 2010, when the magazine’s study ranked the College 29th nationally in associate degrees.

“The study shows the exceptional quality of BCC’s faculty and staff and that our focus on a student-centered approach that guides them from admission to graduation is successful,” said BCC President, Dr. Jim Richey.

“It’s also evidence of the College’s important role in economic development along Florida’s Space Coast in preparing students to find good jobs in today’s highly competitive economy, including in fast-growth fields.

“We’ll use this impressive accomplishment as motivation as we work together to improve the College still more.”

The study follows two other recent indicators of BCC’s success:

  • In April, the College learned it’s among 120 institutions from 31 states still in the running for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The prestigious award is given to the top community college in the nation in recognition of innovative strategies, workforce achievement and high levels of student success.
  • In May, a record 1,944 students graduated from the College, the most in its 52-year history. Nearly 1,400 students were awarded associate degrees with the others receiving program certificates.

Looking ahead, Dr. Richey pointed to several new initiatives that will help students graduate and reach their professional goals. They include:

  • The new Career Planning and Development Center on the Cocoa Campus. The center offers state-of-the-art services to help students select the right careers with an emphasis on increasing business internships and professional mentoring. More than 8,000 students have been assisted since the center opened in January 2012.
  • Opening Teaching and Learning Centers on all four BCC campuses. The centers will improve academic performance by using full-time faculty tutors and staff to focus on the basic skills students need but sometimes lack when they get to BCC.
  • Enhancing student advisement to make sure students are fully integrated into the College when they arrive. The approach would provide students a clear path forward in their education and reduce the number who enroll but later do not return.