By Julie Wiessner
The Navajo County Community College District Governing Board heard a number of presentations Nov. 19, including the Arizona Community Colleges Student Progress and Outcomes Report presented by Dr. Jeanne Swarthout, president of Northland Pioneer College.
“All 10 of the community college involved in this process had to agree on definitions first, before this could be put together,” Swarthout explained. “For example, the federal government defines the word ‘persistence’ one way; the state defines it another way. It took us two years to get a single definition for all metrics used in this report.”
One of the highlights among the 30 data points collected was access to colleges by high school graduates.
Almost three quarters of all Arizona high school graduates who begin higher education enroll in a community college. That is 42 percent of all Arizona’s community college-going students, much higher than the national average of 27 percent.
Retaining the students who enter into community college programs was another highlight. The report shows Arizona community colleges retain 92 percent of credential-seeking learners from fall to spring semesters, and 77 percent to the following fall. These rates, according to the report, are significantly higher than comparative national retention rates.
For students who completed their programs, Arizona’s community colleges awarded close to 40,000 degrees and certificates in 2011-12, a 34 percent increase from 2009-10.
In-state and overall transfer rates from Arizona community colleges, both at 29 percent, exceed the national average of 25 percent.
Statewide, four out of five credential-seeking community college students achieve a successful outcome within six years.
NPC Vice President for Administrative Services, Blaine Hatch reviewed the 2012-13 Apache County analysis for the board.
Under an intergovernmental agreement with Apache County to provide educational services, approval was sought from the board to seek payment for services rendered.
The board agreed to bill Apache County in the amount of $50,467.96.
Board Chairman Ginny Handorf asked, “Does Apache County realize they will be getting a bill of this size?”
“Yes,” replied Hatch. “They have had these figures for a couple of months; they are more than aware of these expenses.”
In other action, the board:
* Approved 10 intergovernmental agreements with local school districts, including Holbrook, Blue Ridge, Ganado, Winslow, Joseph City, St. Johns, Pinon, Hopi Junior/Senior High, Chinle and Show Low, for dual enrollment.
* Held the first reading of the 2014-17 Strategic Plan.
Swarthout requested the board members’ guidance, and asking them to read over the plan and provide any input on any item in the plan. The board has until Dec. 10 to make comments to be included in the second reading at the Dec. 17 board meeting.
* Approved the Strategic Planning and Budget Development Calendar as presented by Hatch.
* Approved the Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology Exhibit.
The exhibit is an update on details on the estimated costs for the current year and the list of the courses offered.
* Approved an amendment to the Northeast Arizona Technical Institute of Vocational Education intergovernmental agreement.
This is the finalized list of course offerings for spring 2014, and includes medical terminology and nurse assistant training classes.
The board took no action on agenda items regarding the Arizona Community Colleges 2013 district report, the enrollment report for fall 2013 and a review of the Joint District Governing Board Legislative Summit.
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By Julie Wiessner