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PCC jumps to fifth in nationin associate degrees earned

Community College Week, a national trade publication for two-year colleges, ranked Portland Community College number five in the nation in awarding associate degrees among two-year schools.

The ranking is part of the publication’s annual “Top 100 Associate Degree Producers Special Report.”Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO: PCC - Portland Community College President Jeremy Brown hands out diplomas on stage at the Memorial Coliseum during the college's commencement in June.

PCC also ranked 11th overall when the list combined all four-year universities that offer two-year degrees. The list was compiled from 2012-13 academic year degree completion statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Education. PCC, which awarded 4,217 degrees in 2012-2013, moved up 17 spots from last year.

The improved standing in degree completion rankings for PCC is tied to the state’s “40-40-20” initiative (40 percent of the state’s adults have four-year college degrees, 40 percent have two-year degrees, and the remaining 20 percent have high school diplomas by 2025).

PCC partnered with Portland State University in 2012 by signing a reverse transfer agreement where PCC recognizes students’ past credit work by awarding associate degrees to those who have already transferred from the college. PCC has dual enrollment agreements with PSU, Oregon State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Concordia University, Western Governors University, Marylhurst University and Linfield College.

“This (change in) ranking demonstrates the dedicated work that has taken place over the past year at every level of the institution,” said Chris Chairsell, vice president of academics & student affairs. “PCC faculty and staff are courageous in confronting the data and systematically implementing the best practices that will result in student retention and completion.”

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