---- — People who have lived in this area for years have been witness to the growth of Clinton Community College as an educational institution.
The growth has come in enrollment, certainly, but mostly on a level that is harder to quantify: its reputation.
Through many positive changes over the years, CCC, perched on a hill off Route 9 in south Plattsburgh, has transformed into a highly regarded community college.
And you don’t have to take our word for it. Washington Monthly magazine, with a respected ranking system, has just named Clinton to its 2013 list of the top 50 community colleges in the nation.
CCC came in at 49 in its first appearance on the list. What solidifies this achievement is this fact: It is the only community college in New York state to make the list.
Washington Monthly based its rankings on data collected from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement and the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education.
Eight criteria were studied: active and collaborative learning, student effort, academic challenge, student-faculty interaction, support for learning, first-year retention rate, three-year-graduation-transfer rate and credits awarded per the equivalent of 100 full-time students. That is a well-rounded basis for evaluation.
Contributing to its elevation in status among colleges, in our opinion, are its dedication to training people for community careers, creative curriculum, knowledgeable faculty, solidified leadership, nurturing of students, increase in diversity through introduction of international students and higher acceptance standards. CCC’s offer of free tuition to local high-achieving students has also contributed to its academic growth.
Clinton wasn’t the only Plattsburgh college to be recognized by Washington Monthly. SUNY Plattsburgh was listed among the top 30 colleges in the country in regard to offering students the most return for their tuition money.
Plattsburgh was No. 30 out of the 349 colleges and universities in the nation on the “Best Bang for the Buck” list, which recognizes schools that help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.
The four criteria on which that ranking was based are: the number of students receiving Pell grants, graduation rate, the percentage of students who default on their loans and the net price of education. Plattsburgh ranked highest of the SUNY schools on that list.
And the college came in at No. 10 on Washington Monthly’s 2013 “Best Bang for the Buck” master’s universities list, showing that it is a good place to continue education at the end of a student’s undergraduate years.
Affordability linked with quality is becoming more and more important as college costs rise, and SUNY Plattsburgh will surely gain attention with this ranking.
Having two educational institutions that garner national accolades is a supreme source of pride for our community. It signifies an advancing, vibrant atmosphere and the promise of future growth and leadership.