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PCC Remains a National Leader in Awarding Associate Degrees to African-Americans

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, PCC remains a leader in awarding associate degrees to African-Americans.

WINTERVILLE—Data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows Pitt Community College remains among the nation’s top institutions when it comes to awarding associate degrees to African-Americans.

In a report published in the June 20 issue of Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine, Pitt ranked 89th in the number of associate degrees awarded to African-Americans during the 2011-12 academic year. That is eight spots higher than a year ago, when PCC was 97th.

According to the report, PCC awarded 257 associate degrees from all disciplines to African-Americans (179 females and 78 males) in 2011-12. The total represented 24 percent of all graduates from the college that year and was a 25 percent increase from the previous year, when Pitt awarded 205 associate degrees to African-American students.

Though Pitt’s overall ranking was still lower than when the college checked in at 68th in the 2009 report, the number of associate degrees PCC conferred to African-Americans in the 2013 rankings was considerably higher (257 compared to 202).

"Pitt Community College has worked hard to increase the completion rate of all students, which is a much higher rate of increase than enrollment patterns,” said PCC President G. Dennis Massey. “Special programs have focused on minority student graduation, so I am proud that PCC is once again among the national leaders in this important benchmark. This fits well with our diversity goals and is a positive indicator for Pitt County's future."

Among North Carolina’s 58 community colleges, Pitt was third in the rankings, behind only Charlotte’s Central Piedmont Community College (53rd) and Jamestown’s Guilford Technical Community College (66th). In fact, there were only three North Carolina community colleges ranked in the top 100.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the analysis was restricted to accredited, Title IV-eligible institutions located in the 50 United States and Washington, D.C., which excluded institutions from U.S. territories and U.S. military service schools.

Previous rankings were based on preliminary data from NCES that was typically released in February. This year, however, NCES waited until the statistics were sufficiently completed and reviewed to release ‘official’ counts. As a result, the report should be even more accurate than the preliminary numbers provided in previous years.

Arizona’s University of Phoenix-Online Campus once again led the rankings with 5,653 associate degrees awarded to African-American students in 2011-12, down 378 from the previous year.