As we proceed into the New Year at Glen Oaks there is much to be excited about.  Most county residents know that the college now enrolls significant numbers of high school students via Dual Enrollment and Early Middle College. With this being the case, we can ask if these efforts are making a difference in the college attendance of these students.

To answer this question we have reviewed the data associated with the past four years’ Dual Enrollment statistics. During these years the number of Dual Enrollment seniors graduating totals 1,007.  The following table reports these data for each year’s high school graduates who attend higher education within twelve months following graduation.

Graduation Year # of Graduates Enrolled Not Enrolled
2012-13 232 76.7% 23.3%
2013-14 198 78.3% 21.7%
2014-15 278 79.9% 20.1%
2015-16* 299 74.2% 25.8%
Overall 1007 77.2% 22.8%

*2015-2016 graduates have not had twelve months since graduation.

The following table reports these data for each year’s graduates since their high school graduation one year and beyond.

Graduation Year # of Graduates Enrolled Not Enrolled
2012-13 232 81.5% 18.5%
2013-14 198 82.3% 17.7%
2014-15 278 83.1% 16.9%
2015-16* 299 74.2% 25.8%
Overall 1007 79.9% 20.1%

*2015-2016 graduates have not had twelve months since graduation.

These data are exceptional in reporting nearly 80 percent of the St. Joseph County students who were Dual Enrolled over the past four years attended college.  With a historical percentage of college attendance in the county being approximately 50 percent, these findings of higher college attendance are very encouraging.  Data from each of St. Joseph County schools varies school to school but all show this strong higher education attendance.

Career Technical Education (CTE) students are also Dual Enrolled in Glen Oaks Community College courses.  While these students historically did not attend post-secondary education, the college attendance rate for the Dual Enrolled CTE students over the same four graduation years is approximately 50 percent, 87 of 174.  When the CTE Dual Enrollment students are separated from the total (1007-174=833) the non-CTE college attendance rate over the same four years is 86 percent.

Of interest is the variety of programs and institutions these students have selected over the most recent four years. Dual Enrollment is also encouraging CTE students to pursue education beyond high school. Of course Glen Oaks Community College is the institution most often selected for attendance but only 20 percent of the time. More than 100 other institutions from all over the country have been selected for attendance. To name just a few of these institutions they include Western Michigan University at 85, Kalamazoo Valley Community College at 62, Southwestern Michigan College at 50, Michigan State University at 40, Grand Valley State University at 36, Central Michigan University at 29, and the University of Michigan at 24. It is very rewarding for our K-12 partners and our faculty and staff to know that together we are helping students pursue their goals.

In closing, the data reported here truly reveal the impact Dual Enrollment is having on St. Joseph County high school students.  These students will surely add value to their lives and have more opportunities for employment and higher earning power.  Please encourage these students as you have the opportunity.  Every student needs support and engagement and together our county schools, Glen Oaks Community College and community will help raise the economy and standard of living.  Our employers will also gain employees with job ready skills.  This suggests the far too often used “Win-Win-Win” saying — but in this case, it holds true as students, employers and communities all benefit.

Dr. David Devier
President, Glen Oaks Community College