EMCC Seeing an Increase in Graduation Rates

May 28, 2013

The 406 graduates of the Class of 2013 at Eastern Maine Community College has made campus history by being the largest in its 47 year history.

“In addition to graduating our largest class, we’re especially pleased that EMCC’s graduation rate has increased by six percent,” said EMCC president, Lawrence Barrett. “Much of the credit for this milestone is due the dedication of our faculty as well as the initiatives we’ve implemented through our work with the Achieving the Dream initiative,” said EMCC president, Lawrence Barrett.

 Achieving the Dream consists of a network focused on helping more community college students succeed. Through a grant from the Kresge Foundation, EMCC is beginning its third year as a member of the network and the only community college in Maine participating in Achieving the Dream.

“What really makes this an outstanding accomplishment for each of these graduated comes from appreciating that many had to overcome many difficult obstacles,” Barrett continued.  “One such example is Jonathan Torsch, EMCC Student of the Year 2013. After facing difficulties within his family life, he faced rejection from the local universities. After high school, Torsch excelled in the position of assistant manager at the Bangor Blockbuster location until the company filed bankruptcy. At 23, he was laid off and unsure of his next move. He took a tentative first step at EMCC and graduated this month with a 4.0 GPA. Torsch will transfer to the UMaine Electrical Engineering Technology program this Fall.”

According to data gathered by the U.S. Department of Education students seeking two-year associate degrees in 2010, just 22 percent of first-time, full-time students in community college graduate in three years. EMCC broke through that ceiling this year with its graduation rate of 32 percent.

“Quite simply, EMCC graduates are now exceeding the national norm. Each graduate of this campus leaves with improved skills and better employability to meet the educational and workforce needs and economic growth for the region,” Barrett concluded.

  • Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2010 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2011 (early estimates).

Filed under: Highlights, News & Events, Stories