Ohio Community College Achieves 53 Percent Increase in Awarded Degrees

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ELYRIA, OH (Jan. 30, 2018) Lorain County Community College (LCCC), today, announced that it increased the number of awarded degrees and credentials by 53 percent since 2011. Rooted in a partnership with student success pioneer Civitas Learning, Lorain’s outcomes stem from the redesign of advising and student pathways.

“Our students are working adults, parents, and commuters, juggling professional and family responsibilities along with their academic work.” said Dr. Stephanie M. Sutton, Associate Provost, Enrollment Management and Student Success/Registrar at Lorain County Community College. “Using our own data, Civitas Learning helped us more precisely quantify the potential impact that key changes in course mixes and degree planning processes could have on the paths students take; it emboldened us to make changes that had a profound impact on their success.”

One such shift stemmed from the discovery that students often sorted through a large field of elective options alphabetically, rather than choosing courses better aligned with their field of study – contributing to the accumulation of excess credits and increasing students’ time to graduation.

Today, LCCC academic advisors and students also use Civitas Learning solutions to identify the optimal schedule for their degree plan, reducing excess credits and providing administrators with data regarding what courses are in highest demand.

In addition to increasing the number of degrees and credentials awarded by 53 percent, LCCC’s pathways initiative resulted in a 35 percent increase in the number of graduates and a reduction in the average number of credits per Associate’s degree from 76 to 68. Despite overall decreased enrollment at LCCC, fall full-time retention also increased by 20 percent.

College officials also report generating over $1.8 million in value from improved student success since 2011. Because Ohio utilizes a performance-based funding model, the improved student outcomes generated through LCCC’s pathways initiative resulted in a 4.75 percent increase in funding.

“We are proud to partner with leaders from institutions like Lorain County Community College who fully dedicate themselves to turning on their own lights, challenging established practices, and in some cases, conventional wisdom, to drive dramatic improvements in student success,” said Mark Milliron, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer at Civitas Learning. “We especially are thrilled when our partners achieve the types of life-changing improvements for students that LCCC has seen.”

The full case study on LCCC’s work can be found here. 


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