JWCC Reports Highest Retention Rate on Record and Maintains High School Market Share

A strategic focus on student success has helped John Wood Community College retain students at the highest level on record.  Retention rate is the percentage of students who return to JWCC from semester to semester, and the current rate is 79%, which is up 76 % from last year.

“Retention is a key performance indicator for students’ success and our top strategic plan priority, which is why it is a focus for the college, “Michael Elbe, JWCC president said. “Staying on a consistent path to completion is vital for students and our faculty and staff have worked diligently to keep moving the needle forward.”

Another key performance indictor is the percentage of high school students from JWCC’s district that enroll each fall.  JWCC maintained a 31 percent market share, a figure that has remained consistent in the last decade.

Students pursuing associate degrees with general education and academic concentration courses to transfer to complete bachelor’s degrees at four-year colleges and universities accounted for 66  percent (13,258) of JWCC’s 20,076 fall 2017 credit hours on the first day of classes.

Students in career, technical and health programs focused on direct entry into careers or transfer to complete applied bachelor’s degree programs accounted for 6,818, or 34 percent of credit hours.  

Due to fewer high school graduates in JWCC’s district and a low unemployment rate, college officials conservatively projected 19,790 credit hours for the fall semester. First day enrollment was 20,076 credit hours, which will fluctuate during the course of the semester as students drop or add classes in upcoming 12, 8 and 4 week sessions.  Credit hours stood at 20,905 on the first day of fall classes last year.

Community colleges in Illinois are preliminarily reporting similar enrollment dips with 1 to 10 percent fewer credit hours than the previous fall.

“The dip in credit hours this fall is a challenge, which is why we will be spending more time in planning sessions and working to creatively increase enrollment numbers as we move forward,” Elbe said.  “We will focus on what we can control and find innovative ways to attract more new students through partnerships, new markets and relevant programs that serve our district.”

One new initiative that could positively affect enrollment this year is a four-week, online winter intersession to benefit current students, high school students pursuing college credits, and out-of-district students.  The session will run December 18 to January 11.

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.

Learn more at: www.jwcc.edu.