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Hawaii Community College ranked among America's best community colleges

Hawaiʻi Community College
Posted: Aug 31, 2007

HILO - A new ranking of America's community colleges by The Washington Monthly magazine released on August 21 has placed Hawaii Community College 16th among the top 30 in the nation. The America's Best Community Colleges list is the first of its kind and included in the magazine's third annual college rankings, designed as an alternative to similar guides such as U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.

The list reveals that these little-known two-year institutions actually offer more rigorous and successful teaching than do many four-year universities ranked in U.S. News' top tier, according to a press release issued by the magazine.

Hawaii CC's ranking was largely based on the 2006 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) as well as graduation rates. At 21 percent, Hawaii CC?s graduation rate has led the UH Community College system since the 2002-03 academic year.

For its evaluation, the CCSSE considers 5 Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practice - active and collaborative learning; student effort; academic challenge; student-faculty interaction; and support for learners.

CCSSE has identified Hawaii Community College to be above the national mean at a statistically significant level for the following student experiences:

  • Making class presentations;
  • Working with other students on projects during class;
  • Participation in community-based projects as a part of a regular course;
  • Preparing two or more drafts of a paper or assignment before turning it in;
  • Synthesizing and organizing ideas, information or experiences in new ways;
  • Number of required written papers or reports of any length;
  • Working with instructors on activities other than coursework; and
  • Encouraging contact among students from different economic, social and racial or ethnic backgrounds.

"This ranking is indicative of the challenging and supportive academic environment that has been created by the faculty and staff at Hawaii Community College," said Doug Dykstra, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. "Moreover, it is a reflection of a student body that recognizes and appreciates the community values endemic to the college's academic and support programs."

The college was especially strong at the national level with respect to its encouragement for programs emphasizing collaborative, project oriented and community based learning activities.

Dykstra adds, "This national ranking reflects the stellar quality of our programs and the constructive, service orientation of our faculty and staff. It is an honor to be associated with a campus community that has built this reputation."

In addition to America's Best Community Colleges list, the magazine's college rankings include the top 30 schools for national universities and liberal arts colleges.

To view the issue, visit

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