Galveston College sees tremendous growth in graduation rate

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Galveston College saw a significant increase in its three-year graduation rate from 2017 to 2019, according to data from the 2019 Texas Public Higher Education Almanac presented recently to the Galveston Community College District Board of Regents.

“Galveston College’s 2019 graduation rate, at 44 percent, is the fifth highest among the state’s two-year colleges,” said Dr. Cissy Matthews, vice president for instruction. “It also represents an overall increase of 10 percent from the 2017 graduation rate of 34 percent.”

Only three technical colleges and one community college, Texas State Technical College-West Texas, Texas State Technical College-Waco, Texas State Technical College-Marshall and Texarkana College, outpaced Galveston College in terms of their three-year graduation rates.

In addition to significant growth in its graduation percentage, Galveston College saw great gains in its developmental (or remedial) education success rates.

“In particular, the percentage of developmental education mathematics students completing a college-level course within two years has skyrocketed,” Dr. Matthews said. “Those gains are mirrored in the developmental education graduation rates, which far exceed the state average.”

Galveston College also experienced significantly more growth in enrollment, on average, than other Texas two-year colleges in the past three years.

“Galveston College had a five-year enrollment growth rate of 13.8 percent between 2013 and 2018 compared to a statewide rate of 5.3 percent,” said Dr. Matthews. “This increase can be attributed to a number of factors, including new programs in healthcare, computer networking and administration, and other technical areas, as well as growth in our dual-credit program with area high schools.”

Dual credit is a process through which students may earn high school credit for successfully completing college courses that provide advanced academic instruction beyond, or in greater depth than, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for a corresponding high school course.

“One in five of our students, or 21 percent, is dual credit,” Dr. Matthews said. “This percentage remained fairly steady over the past three years, although it is now slightly below the statewide two-year college average of 23 percent.”

At 29 percent, Galveston College also surpassed the statewide average of 23 percent in the number of students enrolled on a full-time basis (12 or more credit hours per semester).

Dr. Matthews concluded, “Galveston College, at 31 percent, exceeded the statewide average of 25 percent in the number of students enrolled in technical programs versus academic programs, and the proportion of Galveston College students graduating with debt has decreased from 2017 to 2019 and is on par with the state average.”

To view the almanac, click here: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/reports/PDF/12371.PDF.