- Associated Press - Thursday, September 22, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - More than 8 in 10 students are failing to graduate from most of West Virginia’s public community colleges, drawing scrutiny from one of their accreditors.

Members of the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions are asking four-year institutions with graduation rates at or below 25 percent and two-year institutions at or below 15 percent to show how they are working to improve, the Council announced Wednesday, according to The Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/2cFSbLf).

Six of West Virginia’s nine public community colleges have graduation rates below the 15 percent threshold, according to a website operated by the U.S. Department of Education.

The average completion rate at community colleges nationwide is 39 percent.

Barbara Gellman-Danley is the president of the Higher Learning Commission, an accrediting body that operates in 19 states, including West Virginia. She said the upcoming review will not be used to apply to accreditation compliance, but rather toward giving the commission a better opportunity to help universities improve.

“These numbers - it’s concerning, but we’ve been concerned about it for a while and we are addressing it,” said Matt Turner, executive vice chancellor for administration at the state’s Higher Education Policy Commission.

Sarah Tucker, the chancellor of the state’s Community and Technical College System, could not be reached for comment, representatives told The Gazette-Mail.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.


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