Guilford Tech Aims to Boost Graduation Rate

Guilford Tech Aims to Boost Graduation Rate

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Greensboro, N.C. college seeks to help students complete their education.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — All across the United States, community and technical colleges have witnessed a spike in enrollment, particularly over the past few years. The most recent recession and its aftermath has encouraged many Americans to seek additional training and education, something two-year schools provide through a variety of certificate and associate degree programs.

Like students at four-year schools, many community college students are not able to finish their programs as time and financial constraints weigh in. However, a Greensboro, N.C. college may have found the way to boost graduation rates, offering an initiative other schools may want to adopt.

National Recognition for GTCC

That school is Guilford Technical Community College, which has been selected for a leadership role in a national education collaboration to devise and share new approaches to help more young people obtain degrees from community colleges. The school was chosen following its participation in a tough national competition announced last October at a White House Summit on community colleges. GTCC, the third largest community college system in N.C., will share a $495,000 planning grant to launch the project with five other community colleges in the Tarheel State.

Completion by Design is the N.C. initiative, a five-year program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, designed to significantly increase completion and graduation rates for low-income students ages 18 to 26. GTCC will be the managing partner for the program.

Said GTCC president Dr. Donald W. Cameron, “Guilford Technical Community College is honored to serve as the managing partner for our state’s Completion by Design initiative.”

Millions of Students Served

Nationally, community colleges currently serve nearly 11 million students. These schools are adjusting to help students, many of whom are older and work full- or part-time to support families while attending school to obtain a degree or credential. These are students with busy lives and much to juggle in life; some students complete their education, but others find it too difficult to finish up what they had started.

Completion by Design was developed to sponsor programs that address the challenges that keep students from completing college and elevate graduation rates.
Under GTCC’s leadership, the state of North Carolina will break down these best practices within higher education and initiatives the institutions have developed themselves, to discover how these processes and procedures can be expanded to reach the entire North Carolina community college system.

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