For many years, some of the lowest college completion rates in the country have been at community colleges, where more than half the students who start never finish their degree.
What can colleges do to improve the numbers?
There’s a renewed focus on trying to answer that question at Bellevue College, the state’s largest community college and the third-largest higher-education institution in the state.
It’s focusing on closing the gap for students who usually fare poorest — including low-income students and underrepresented minorities, said Ata Karim, vice president of student services for the college.
Of those Bellevue students who say they’re seeking an associates degree, 83 percent return to school after the first quarter, Karim said. But only 76 percent of students who enrolled in the fall return for the spring quarter. And fewer still — about 64 percent — are still in school after a year has passed.More