Valencia is #1 in Awarding Associate Degrees in the Nation

A report just published by Community College Week shows that Valencia Community College awards more associate degrees than any other two-year school in the nation. Valencia also leads the way in the number of associate degrees awarded to minorities, an 18 percent increase from the year before.

The report, published in June 2010, was compiled using data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and focused on degrees conferred during the 2008-2009 academic year. In that year, Valencia awarded 5,128 associate degrees, including 1,956 earned by minority students.

“Valencia’s focus on improving student success, particularly in the critical first year of college, is paying off,” said Valencia president Sanford C. Shugart. “The rankings also underscore the role Valencia plays as the primary entry point to a college education in our region.”

Aside from overall associate degrees conferred, Valencia ranked high across a number of academic disciplines: first in the number of degrees awarded in general studies, 10th in nursing and 15th in engineering technology.

Valencia offers three types of degrees: the Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.) and the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. The A.A. degree parallels the first two years of a four-year bachelor’s degree. In Florida, graduates with an A.A. degree are guaranteed acceptance as juniors into the state university system. Valencia also offers more than 100 A.S., A.A.S. and certificate programs, which lead to immediate entry into the workforce.

Today there are approximately 1,200 community colleges in the United States.