Community colleges and universities in Michigan are helping more students find ‘success’

A new report shows Michigan colleges and universities are getting a higher percentage of their students.

The state’s Center for Educational Performance and Information has been monitoring student “pass” rates since 2009.

Data shows that there has been a gradual improvement in graduation rates at community colleges and universities in Michigan.

“We get about 71% of students finishing in sixth grade. Which really isn’t too bad compared to the national benchmark,” says Bob Murphy of the Michigan Association of State Universities.

The number of community colleges is far less than that. But officials say that’s partly due to community college students, in many cases having a different focus.

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Mike Hansen is president of the Michigan Community College Association. He says many community college students are looking to take a few courses to improve their chances of getting a job or to improve their skills for jobs they already have. Hansen says other students are taking classes with plans to transfer to a four-year school.

Yet data shows a growing percentage of community college students earning degrees.

Hansen credits greater attention to preparing students with improved “pass” rates.

“Rather than just giving a student a course catalog and saying ‘go find yourself,’ it’s more structured with a path,” says Hansen.