The Orlando Sentinel School Zone blog reports on Valencia being named to Washington Monthly’s list of the top 50 community colleges in the nation.
The magazine said it based part of its rankings on an annual national survey of “student engagement” at community colleges, that aims to judge student workload, faculty teaching practices, student support and student interaction with faculty.
The magazine also used data on student retention, student graduation or transfer rates and degrees awarded.
Community colleges are often the “low institutions on the higher education totem pole,” the magazine wrote, receiving “meager” financial support from their states. And many struggle to fulfill their mission, with large numbers of students starting school but never earning a degree.
But the best of these colleges do an excellent job supporting and encouraging students — and, most importantly, helping them graduate, Washington Monthly said.
“Good educational practices and successful education outcomes go hand in hand. Students often drop out of college because they’re frustrated by bad teaching and can’t see a clear path toward a degree,” the magazine wrote. “The best community colleges put students in an enriching educational environment and stick with them all the way to the graduation stage.”