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CNN: MCC among state's top community colleges

CNN rankings based on achievement, financial data from community colleges

Published: Saturday, June 21, 2014 11:36 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – McHenry County College received some positive national coverage last week, being ranked as one of the most affordable and successful community colleges in Illinois by CNN and College Measures.

In an effort to produce a list similar to U.S. News and World Report's annual four-year college rankings, CNN and College Measures compiled achievement and financial statistics from community colleges across the nation to list the best institutions.

McHenry County College was ranked as the fourth best in Illinois, behind Rend Lake College, Kaskaskia College and Sauk Valley Community College.

"This type of recognition is affirmation that MCC’s work toward student success is truly making an impact," college spokeswoman Christina Haggerty said. "Everyone here is focused 100 percent on our mission, and seeing completion and success numbers that reflect our focus on students is rewarding and verifies that we are moving in the right direction."

The "success rate" used by College Measures looks at the rate community colleges graduate students with an associate’s degree within three years or help students transfer to a four-year university.

McHenry County College's success rate was 57 percent, while the top school boasted a 68 percent rate and 25th-ranked Richland Community College had a 47 percent success rate.

"No matter what our success rate, MCC is an institution fully dedicated to continuous improvement," President Vicky Smith said. "We always look at new, more effective and more efficient ways of doing things that will impact student success. This cycle never ends."

The ranking was the second national honor bestowed upon McHenry County College this year, as the institution also was named as one of the top 150 community colleges in the country by The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, making it a finalist for a $1 million grant.

The college advanced to the second round of the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in May and will be notified if it made it to the third round in the fall, Smith said.

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