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PCC receives good marks in new state measures for student success

Published Thursday, August 8, 2013
by Elizabeth Townsend

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Piedmont Community College (PCC) fared well on the North Carolina Community College System’s new set of accountablity measures to gauge student success. The Performance Measures for Student Success are a result of SuccessNC, NC Community Colleges’ three-year strategic plan. The new measures were developed by a committee comprised of state-wide college leadership, faculty and staff with various areas of expertise and insight, and were enacted into law by the General Assembly in June 2012.


The new, annual accountability report includes eight performance measures: Basic Skills Student Progress, GED Diploma Passing Rate, Developmental Student Success Rate in College-Level English Courses, Developmental Student Success Rate in College-Level Math Courses, First Year Progression, Curriculum Student Completion, Licensure and Certification Passing Rate, and College Transfer Performance.

For each measure, the System Office identified a System Baseline (two standard deviations below the System mean) and a System Goal (one standard deviation above the System mean). The baselines and goals were developed based on three years of historical data and will remain static until they are reset in the 2016 report.

During the 2011-12 academic year, PCC exceeded the baseline in all eight measures and exceeded the system mean in three of the eight measures. Systemwide, 39 of the 58 community colleges exceeded the System average in three or more individual performance measures, with 19 community colleges meeting or exceeding two or more individual performance measure goals.

Curriculum Student Completion continues to be a key focus of NC Community Colleges’ student success initiatives, with the 2011-12 measure of 41.1 percent just under the 45.6 percent goal. However, PCC exceeded the System Goal for this measure in the initial Performance Measures report. The new system-wide average of Curriculum Student Completion is consistent with recent national recommendations that community colleges consider more than graduation when gauging student completion, and include retention and successful college transfer.

“Our community college system has always maintained a focus on accountability,” says N.C. Community College System President, Dr. Scott Ralls. “SuccessNC marks a shift in our emphasis on student completion and success, and our new performance measures more accurately reflect a focus on key metrics we believe are important to student progress.”

To see the summary report of PCC’s 2013 Performance Measures for Student Success, go to the PCC website at and type Performance Measures in the search box or go to this link: