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BCC Tops in Central Florida Graduation Rates

February 21, 2013 - A new federal study bolsters Brevard Community College’s reputation as one of the top community colleges in the state and nation.

It shows that BCC has the highest graduation rate among all community colleges in Central Florida, according to a U.S. Department of Education database.

The recent report showed that more than 47 percent of full-time students working toward an associate degree at BCC finished within three years.

Lake-Sumter State College has the second highest graduation rate at about 40 percent.

Polk State College has the lowest graduation rate at less than 29 percent.

The graduation rates were among the information in a new College Scorecard database that was released after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech Feb. 12.

BCC President, Dr. Jim Richey, said the data reflects the college’s focus on working closely with students to guide them into the right career track and required coursework.

He cited the college’s Career Planning and Development Center as an example of the effort.

More than 16,200 students have utilized its services since it opened early last year with a growing emphasis on internships that can lead to jobs upon graduation.

The center also partners with more than 60 companies, including leaders in the health care, finance and tourism industries.

“The graduation rates are a direct result of the excellent work by our faculty and staff, who are dedicated to doing everything possible to help students graduate on time and succeed,” said Richey.

Other studies the past year have also ranked BCC highly in graduation rate categories.

Statistics from the Florida College System showed BCC ranked second in graduation rates among the 28 member colleges.

Meanwhile, a Community College Week Magazine analysis of U.S. Department of Education statistics ranked BCC 19th in the U.S. in awarding A.A. degrees among 1,200 community colleges nationwide.

The same analysis showed BCC ranked 13th in awarding associate degrees in science technologies, 68th in awarding associate degrees to African-American students, and 76th in awarding associate degrees to members of all minorities.

BCC offers more than 100 two-year degree and certificate programs and will start offering four-year bachelor degrees in August after becoming Eastern Florida State College on July 1.