Capital Community College (CCC) has retained its national ranking for two-year colleges that serve adult learners well, according to the Washington Monthly’s 2019 College Rankings in the September/October edition.
CCC ranked #21 in the latest survey and is among five community colleges in New England to make the top 25 for effectiveness in serving older students (25 and older).
“This year’s list of best-ranked colleges for adult learners taps national data to identify schools that make it easier for students to transfer, offer flexibility in their scheduling, provide services outside of banking hours, and make it possible for part-time students to succeed after they graduate,” writes Rebecca Klein-Collins, an associate vice president of research and policy development at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.
The Washington Monthly, a nonprofit bimonthly published in the nation’s capital, assessed 978 two-year colleges using federal education data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and other measures. Eight metrics were used in the rankings. “Across the board,” notes Klein-Collins, “these schools (community colleges) make it easy for anyone to enroll, but the best ones for adults offer flexible scheduling and a range of career-focused options.”
Also ranked in the top 25 in New England are North Shore Community College (13), Mount Wachusett Community College (16), Masschusetts Bay Community College (19) in Massachusetts and Naugatuck Valley Community College (25) in Connecticut.
CCC offers 36 associate degree and 24 certificate programs on site and online through six academic departments: Business and Technology; Health Careers and Public Safety; Humanities; Nursing; Science and Mathematics; and Social and Behavioral Sciences. While the largest programs are in Business and Health Careers, each program is closely aligned with the demands of the workforce. As a result, CCC has recently added new programs in Biotechnology and Cybersecurity in response to the development of the regional economy. The College has an expansive articulation network with longstanding agreements with private and public institutions in the region’s higher education consortium. Eighty percent of students attend part-time (2018) and the average age of students is 29.
Like other publications Washington Monthly also ranks four year national universities and liberal arts colleges. It is the only national publication that ranks institutional effectiveness of two-year schools where so many working adults enroll. “Traditional college rankings are not very helpful for these students,” according to the Washington Monthly’s report. “Working adults generally don’t care about average ACT scores or donation rates of alumni. They need information about what a college or university will do to make it easy for them to enroll, succeed and finish their degrees.”