McHenry County College Is Number One in Percentage Graduating in Three Years–24%

Shiela Simon at MCC.

The Chicago Tribune reportedon the work produce of Lt. Gov. Shiela Simon’s tour of all the community colleges in the state.

The story emphasized the low percentage of junior college students who complete two-year degrees or career certificates in three years.

While I can’t find the report, the Tribune found a source at the U.S. Department of Education that revealed such graduation rates at six Chicagoland institutions.

And, guess what?

McHenry County College was Number 1 at 24%.

The state average was 20%.

The College of Lake County was 17% and the College of DuPage 14%.

On the low end of the scale were three Chicago colleges:

  • 4% – Harold Washington College
  • 6% – Richard J. Daley College
  • 11% – Malcolm X College

I remember the fight my father waged and lost when he served on MCC’s first board.

He wanted most emphasis to be on career education.

The majority of the board wanted a traditional junior college.

There’s still a little award in the basement from the auto mechanic training program.

Care to chime in on whether MCC would be a better or worse place, if his vision had prevailed?


McHenry County College Is Number One in Percentage Graduating in Three Years–24% — 1 Comment

  1. What is career education?

    Community Colleges fill many different roles.

    Obtain a 2 year degree and get a job, both white collar and blue collar.

    Obtain a 2 year degree and go on to a 4 year college.

    Continuing education for working adults. Hobbies for adults such as cooking, etc.

    There are many reasons people don’t graduate community college in 2 years.

    The student might not be motivated, they may not intend to graduate in 2 years (they may be working and can’t take a full load), they may require remedial level classes, etc.

    The issue of remedial level classes is very frustrating for parents who sent their children to “good” school districts, only to find the child needs remedial level classes in college.

    What happened?

    It often starts in elementary school where parents are not told how far their child is tracking behind, eventually leading to the need to take remedial level classes in college.

    Education reform (SB 7) is a start in the right direction.

    However many levels of SB 7 are left to the discretion of school districts run by school boards elected by teacher unions.

    So parents need to become more involved at the school board level, understand the legislation, and bring the issues to light amongst other parents and the press.

    In addition to SB 7 research College and Career Readiness, Common Core standards, longitudinal studies, understand the ACT series of tests starting with the ACT Explore in 8th grade, understand ISAT and how the standards have been lowered by ISBE over time in “meet expectations” so Districts would continue to qualify for Federal money under NCLB.

    Ironically, full time teachers at suburban Chicago high schools often earn more than full time teachers at suburban Chicago community colleges.

    Many of the problems of starting behind or under achieving at Community Colleges can be traced back to elementary school. The politics in schools is a major issue. Talk to anyone working in a school and they will tell you there are many politics in a school to which parents are oblivious.
    Here is the URL to, “Illinois Community Colleges: Focus on the Finish, A report to Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly” by Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, January 2012.”
    Here’s Sheila Simon’s web page at the State of IL for more info.

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