CNN Money Ranks JWCC in Top 10 Percent of Community Colleges Nationwide

Ranking Based on Student Success Indicators

CNN and College Measures ranked John Wood Community College in the top 10 percent for student success out of 788 community colleges rated in a report released this week.

The ranking is based on JWCC’s success rate, calculated by the total number of enrolled students completing an associate degree in three years or successfully transferring to a four-year university.

“We are extremely pleased to be in the top 10 percent, but we are always striving to improve,” Mike Elbe, JWCC president said.  “Student success is our top priority and at the heart of our mission.”

Elbe credits JWCC’s expert, dedicated faculty and strong academic advisors.

“Our faculty is focused on helping every student, from every walk of life, gain core knowledge to have a strong start in college or enter the workforce with relevant skills employers want,” Elbe said. “Our advisors help students plan their courses efficiently, always mindful of their transfer plans, to make sure the transition to four-year schools is seamless.”

Although a positive mark for JWCC, Elbe noted that the report ranks student success based on a traditional student lifestyle and timeframe.  Many JWCC students define success by completing a few courses to gain skills for a promotion.  Others may switch from full to part-time status while juggling family and full-time jobs, which extends the amount of time to complete a degree.

“So many of our students are going to school while working full time and many are raising families simultaneously,” Elbe said.  “Life gets in the way of completing a degree in the traditional two to three-year timeframe taking 15 to18 credit hours a semester.”

College Measures is a joint venture of the American Institutes of Research and Matrix Knowledge Group that reviews success rates of community colleges.

JWCC’s success rate is 57 percent, which ties for 66th nationwide and ties for fourth among the 48  Illinois community colleges.  Only Rend Lake, Kaskaskia and Sauk Valley in Illinois ranked higher.  JWCC’s ranking also outpaced regional community colleges in Missouri and Iowa. 

Across the United States there are 1,655 community colleges. Of these, 1,047 are public institutions and 415 private.  The CNN Money report included those institutions with more than 200 full-time freshmen.


John Wood Community College is the educational link between business and community. JWCC collaboratively creates innovative and relevant academic and training programs with business leaders to educate young people and the workforce for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities. JWCC has centers in Quincy, Pittsfield, Baylis and Mt. Sterling, Illinois. Programs include a comprehensive baccalaureate transfer curriculum, customized business training, career/technical degrees and certificates and personal enrichment courses.

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