By Wally Perez
Comparisons to Dallas County Community College District have become a common occurrence during monthly meetings of the board of trustees and for good reason; they’re one of the leading community colleges in graduation numbers.
Chancellor Bruce Leslie said he views DCCCD not so much as a competitor, but more as a peer that has similar structure to the Alamo Colleges.
“We want to be comparing ourselves to large urban institutions,” Leslie said in a phone interview Aug. 31.
The more important issue is that Dallas and seven other community colleges in Texas are peers in terms of how data is analyzed, Leslie said.
Leslie said District 1 trustee Joe Alderete has not shied away from making frequent comparisons during regular meetings of the board of trustees.
During a Student Success Committee meeting Aug. 9, Alderete asked, “Where are we in terms of degrees and certificates in comparison to DCCCD?”
“I know we’re No. 2 in producing certificates in degrees, but where are we with DCCCD? And have we pushed them down?” Alderete said.
Leslie replied, “We are allies; we do not push them down.”
At the meeting, Leslie couldn’t answer the question of where the Alamo Colleges were in comparison to DCCCD.
Mario Muñiz, district director of public relations, said the total number of graduates for the Alamo Colleges wasn’t ready yet, and to expect something by October.
The Ranger received graduation statistics from Ann Hatch, district director of media relations at DCCCD.
The numbers are:
- Fall 2015 2,468 associate degrees, 1,260 certificates
- Spring 2016 3,370 associate degrees, 1,734 certificates.
- Summer 2016 1,090 associate degrees, 225 certificates.
- A total of 10,147 degrees and certificates awarded.
“Since they’re larger than we are, and have more degree awards, his (Alderete’s) thinking is if we can do better than them (DCCCD) the better we look,” Leslie said.
Leslie said Dallas’s goal for degrees awarded is not the target for the Alamo Colleges.
“Our degree award targets are laid out in plain sight at our monthly board meetings with the goal of 10,500 degrees awarded for the 2015-16 academic year,” Leslie said.
Alderete said the board decided to take the graduates, certificates and licensing numbers in a way to compare the Alamo Colleges in a nationwide and statewide basis.
“We have decided to review our metrics and how we’re going to look at them because the Coordinating Board has a very nonlogical way of measuring successes of a community college,” Alderete said in a phone interview Sept. 6.
“It seems to be more equitable when you’re comparing apples to apples instead of being compared with apples, grapes and peaches,” Alderete said.
Alderete said the reason behind looking at DCCCD in terms of graduation standards is because they’re the leading community college in terms of graduation numbers.
“It’s a simple process in my opinion. If we surpass Dallas in those numbers, then we’re the best in the state; then we start competing with the rest of the nation,” Alderete said.