Orlando, Fla. — Valencia College ranks fourth in the nation for the number of associate degrees awarded to students, according to a ranking of more than 3,600 colleges and universities published by Community College Week.
To compile its annual Top 100 ranking, Community College Week editors used data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and focused on degrees awarded in the 2014 academic year. -2015. That year, Valencia awarded 7,625 associate degrees, 51% of which were earned by minority students.
The number of degrees awarded in Valencia in 2014-15 jumped 3% from the previous year, 2013-14. “Valencia’s continued focus on student success is paying off,” said Valencia College President Sandy Shugart. “Over the past decade, the college has focused its efforts on helping students from all walks of life succeed. These rankings underscore the role Valencia plays as a first step into college for many Central Florida students.
It should also be noted that the college ranks fourth in the nation in the number of degrees awarded to Hispanic students and sixth in the number of degrees awarded to African Americans.
The college also ranked fourth in the nation in the number of one-year certificates awarded. Nationwide, more than 5,500 colleges, universities, and other educational institutions offer one-year certificates.
In addition to the overall number of associate degrees awarded, Valencia ranked first in the number of associate degrees awarded in a number of academic disciplines: second in the number of degrees awarded in general studies and the humanities; sixth in computer and information science; 27th in business degrees and 44th in registered nursing.
The ranking was published on September 20, 2016.
Valencia offers three types of degrees: Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Science (AS), and Bachelor of Science (BS). The AA degree parallels the first two years of a four-year bachelor’s degree. In Florida, graduates with an AA degree are guaranteed to be accepted as juniors into the state university system.
DirectConnect to UCF, a long-standing partnership between Valencia and the University of Central Florida, has contributed to Valencia’s high transfer rate, considered one of the highest in the nation. DirectConnect to UCF guarantees that Valencia graduates will be accepted and receive fast-track admission to UCF. Since the program’s inception in 2006, more than 36,000 students have transferred from Valencia to UCF.
In 2012, Valencia College’s DirectConnect to UCF program was selected by Excelencia in Education, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, as the best program in the nation for increasing academic opportunity and success for Hispanic students at the associate level.
Tags: associate degrees, colleges that serve African American students, colleges that serve Hispanic students, colleges that serve minority students, Community College Week Rankings, Direct Connect, Direct Connect to UCF, DirectConnect, DirectConnect to UCF, Excelencia in Education, Hispanic Students, Top 100 Degree Producers, Top 100 Rankings, Valencia College