ALPENA - Alpena Community College President Olin Joynton reported the 2011-12 academic year information, which was sent to the United States Department of Education's Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System. He said the required information could be interpreted in a variety of ways, but is best used to track ACC's performance against benchmarks set by the other nine comparably sized Michigan community colleges.
"ACC tops all community college's in graduation rate. It's a huge compliment to our staff and faculty. We're very proud of maintaining our ranking," he said.
According to the report, ACC's overall graduation rate of 40 percent exceeds the 17 percent average of similar community colleges. However, in comparison to the institutions, ACC's head count of 2,678 is smaller, which affects its graduation rate in a positive way.
"The numbers of our full-time students is higher (1,078), but part time students went down proportionately (913)," he said. "These differences continue a four year trend and affect our graduation rates positively."
However, when it comes to tuition fees, ACC continues to cost more with a yearly rate of $3,510, which Joynton said is a necessity measure that counters low property tax revenue.
"The use of financial aid comes out very strongly in this report," he said. "The use of financial aid results in a vastly lower net price of attending ACC, only $2,162 per student on average compared with the $5,347 average at the other nine colleges."
Joynton said ACC also expends more per student on instruction and slightly more on student services than peer colleges, while expending slightly less on academic support and considerably less on administration support.
"You get more bang for your buck, we focus our resources on instruction. I think we're on the right track here," he said. "Overall, these comparisons tell a story of ACC resources focused on the core business of instruction and students persevering to complete their programs."
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