CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

October 8, 2013

Wallace State receives high marks as Best Practices Leader in national benchmarking study


WSCC MEDIA RELATIONS

HANCEVILLE — A recent report by the National Community College Benchmark Project recognizes Wallace State Community College in Hanceville as a best practices leader in higher education.  

The NCCBP is a joint national effort among community colleges across the United States to standardize a nationwide benchmark reporting process. The 2013 NCCBP Institutional Strengths Report highlights the top 15 percent of participating colleges according to certain measures of institutional strengths.  

Wallace State ranked among the top one percent, or in the 99th percentile, for employer satisfaction with the preparation of career program graduates.

The college ranked among the top five percent of institutions in the study for next-term persistence, which means that students enrolled in the fall are very likely to continue to the next semester. The college also achieved the 85th percentile benchmark or better for student success in developmental writing courses, and for students taking English Composition I and II, which are known as gateway courses because these courses are required to progress in most programs of study.  

“Our Five-Year Strategic Plan establishes priorities that prepare students to be ready for college, ready for work, and ready for life. These measures allow us to see what initiatives are showing positive results for student success, and provide important comparative national data that help us to ensure that we maintain our status as a national pacesetter,” said Wallace State President Vicki Hawsey Karolewics.

The college was also rated highly in marketing-related measures. The college ranked in the 99th percentile for the percentage of public high school graduates it attracts. It ranked in the 93rd percentile for the market penetration among credit students and in the 99th percentile for penetration in the community, especially related to sporting events.

Wallace State’s fulltime faculty teach more than 77 percent of courses offered and more than 82 percent of all credit hours produced, which ranks the college among the 95th and 96th percentiles, respectively. The college also reached the 85th percentile or high in student faculty ratio, and institution-wide enrollee success, among others.

“Wallace State’s vision is to be a world class, internationally recognized, entrepreneurial learning college. The results of this study help us to determine how far we are along the path to realizing that vision,” said Dr. Karolewics.

WSCC has been ranked among the top 120 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute, among the top 50 in the nation for its healthcare programs by Community College Week, and No. 2 in the South for workforce development by Southern Business and Development Magazine.

Wallace State’s participation in the benchmarking study is another demonstration of effectiveness to federal, state, and accrediting agencies, which require comparisons with others on effectiveness and outcome measures. The NCCBP is the largest provider of community college benchmarking and peer comparison services in the nation.

“Wallace State’s goal is not to be the largest community college in our area, but to be the best with regard to the quality of learning and student outcomes. Participation in the NCCBP enables Wallace State to benchmark our data within a national peer group, and we are proud that we rank in the highest percentiles in the measures that matter,” Dr. Karolewics said.