East Arkansas Community College increased in productivity more than any other college or university in Arkansas, according to annual productivity scores released by the Arkansas Division of Higher Education.
EACC improved 15.31% over the previous year with a total increase of 336 points, or 20.7% of the total points gained by all two-year colleges in the state combined.
The second highest percentage gain was 10.33% at the University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville. This was the only other double-digit increase of any of the 32 public institutions of higher education in Arkansas. The highest university gain was 6.09% at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
The largest decline was at Arkansas State University-Mid South which fell by 6.54%.
Other neighboring institutions saw small increases, including Phillips County Community College of the University of Arkansas, which increased 2.64%, and Arkansas Northeastern College, which increased 1.34%. Arkansas State University at Jonesboro saw a 2.86% increase in productivity.
This is the second year in a row of increases at EACC. Last year the College increased 8.94% in the productivity outcomes index.
Arkansas' productivity funding formula uses four-year averages of scores on six measures of student success to generate an overall productivity score called an "outcomes index." Each year, an institution's score is compared to the previous year's outcomes index.
EACC improved the most in two categories: increasing the number of credentials awarded and student progression, in which are points awarded for each student earning 15, 30, and 45 credit hours. In these measures, EACC increased more than any other college or university in Arkansas.
EACC also significantly improved scores in three other categories: gateway, which measures the number of students completing a general education gateway course; time to degree, the number of semesters it takes a student to graduate; and credits at completion, in which points are awarded for graduates with no extraneous credits.
The College's only decrease was in the number of students who transferred to a four-year college or university.
An overall effectiveness index is generated from scores in credentials, progression, gateway, and transfer categories. EACC's gains in overall effectiveness were also greater than any other institution in the state, at 14.17%.
"Kudos to everyone at EACC. I sometimes feel we are the little institution that could. We are successful, even in the face of great challenges," said Dr. Cathie Cline, President of EACC.
"Some institutions are just now facing adversity and acting like they are the first to discover that students struggle. We have faced that for many years and have done something about it. Our efforts are paying off. What we do matters to our students and our communities," Cline added.