Politico Magazine hailed DirectConnect to UCF, Valencia’s partnership with the University of Central Florida, for creating “a seamless pipeline of social mobility.”
In a June 2015 article for its “What Works” series — a year-long series featuring innovative ideas from cities across the United States — reporter Saundra Amrheim noted that graduation rates at Valencia College doubled after DirectConnect to UCF was implemented in 2006. In DirectConnect’s first six years, the number of Associate in Arts degrees Valencia awarded annually spiked more than 110 percent, from 3,164 to 6,666, far outpacing the college’s enrollment increases. Valencia saw its graduation rate climbed from 24.6 percent to 35.2 percent for first-time-in-college students five years after starting. (Nationally, the six-year completion rate at two-year institutions is 26.1 percent, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.)
And DirectConnect students continue to succeed once they’re at UCF: 71 percent of a recent DirectConnect cohort graduated from UCF with a bachelor’s degree within six years after transferring.
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