EACC Progress and Gains Revealed in Latest Report
East Arkansas Community College has made substantial progress and gains in retention, graduation rates, and diversity as recognized in the most recent Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Data Feedback Report.
According the IPEDS Data Feedback Report 2020, EACC had a full-time retention rate of 67% compared to their national comparison peer group which had a retention rate of 54%. Over the last four years, EACC's full-time retention rate increased 14%, while the comparison group retention rate declined 7%.
EACC's part-time retention rate of 69% was 30% higher than the national comparison group's rate of 39%. Over four years, EACC's part-time retention rate increased by 21% while the comparison group's retention rate remained flat.
The institution's graduation rate increased 20% over four years, from 18% to 38%, while the peer group's rate increased by 8%. The report shows that in four years, EACC's graduation rate grew from 2% behind the national comparison group to exceeding the group's rate by 10%.
The report included statistics of graduation rates among various student populations. EACC's graduation rate among black/African-American students of 36% is more than double the national peer group's rate of only 15% for the underserved student category. In one year, the institution grew 13% in the measure while the national peer group fell by 2%.
The graduation rate for white students of 41% is more than 10% higher than the comparison group rate of 31%. As EACC's graduation rate in this student category also increased over the last year, the comparison group rate remained flat.
EACC has made substantial progress in closing the gap in graduation rates between white (41%) and black/African-American (36%) students. The student population graduation measures are now separated by only 5% while the comparison group's rates for white students (31%) is nearly double that of black students (15%).
The IPEDS report shows that EACC's student body has also grown more diverse with 42% of students identifying as black or African-American, compared to only 4% in the comparison group. The College's rate was reported as 38% for the previous year.
In addition, the student body has also grown more diverse in terms of income level, with 90% qualifying for some type of aid, compared to 84% of the national comparison group students, which is an increase of 20% over the previous year. Similarly, 77% of EACC's students qualified for Pell grants, up from 58% the previous year, compared to 54% of the comparison group's students.
EACC's enrollment increased over 9% from the previous year's report with an unduplicated headcount of 1,575 growing to 1,721, while the comparison group's enrollment fell by 11% from 1,623 to 1,445.
The annual feedback report also noted that EACC's annual tuition and fees of $2,925 are 41% lower than the comparison group's tuition and fees of $4,237.
"When we started the journey of our new institution three years ago, we had ambitious goals. This report proves that our efforts have been successful, our strategies well-chosen, and that we can effect change," said Dr. Cathie Cline, EACC President.
"Improvement in educational levels in our region is within our power, and I am so proud of our faculty and staff for the progress our institution has made," said Dr. Cline.
"While this year has been a struggle, it is clear that we can accomplish the things we want to accomplish for our community," said Dr. Cline. "If we do the right things, it will come back to us, and this most recent IPEDS report is proof," she said.
The IPEDS Data Feedback Report is intended to provide institutions a context for examining the data they submitted to IPEDS. The purpose of this report is to provide institutional executives a useful resource and to help improve the quality and comparability of IPEDS data.
The figures included in the annual report provide a selection of indicators for each institution to compare with a group of similar institutions. The figures draw from the data collected during the 2019-20 IPEDS collection cycle and are the most recent data available.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a system of survey components that collects data from all institutions that provide postsecondary education and are eligible to receive Title IV funding across the United States and other U.S. jurisdictions. These data are used at the federal and state level for policy analysis and development; at the institutional level for benchmarking and peer analysis; and by students and parents, through the College Navigator online tool to aid in the college search process. Additional information about IPEDS can be found on the website at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds.