Oregon Higher Education Takes Another Hit
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Oregon finished ahead of only Louisiana, Missouri, Idaho, Pennsylvania and Ohio, which occupied the bottom five spots on the list. Mississippi and North Dakota, respectively, came away as the top states for community college in the U.S.
WalletHub, a financial trade publication, ranked the 44 states based off its rankings of 670 individual community colleges, released earlier this year. That study examined schools on four criteria: Cost and Financing, Classroom Experience, Educational Outcomes and Career Outcomes
The four criteria were evaluated using 17 total metrics. To determine a school’s financial score, WalletHub looked at the cost of in-state tuition and fees; the total amount of state, local and federal aid; the cost per student; the school’s spending efficiency; and their faculty and staff salaries.
Classroom experience was measured using six metrics. Student-to-faculty ratio; the availability and effectiveness of school provided support services; the strength of communication between instructors and students; the complexity and workload of courses offered; student effort; and levels of student involvement in their own education and participation in group projects.
Education outcomes were measure by first-year retention rate; graduation rate; transfer-out rate; and credentials awarded pull 100 full-time students. Career outcomes were measured by the student loan default rate and the ratio of starting salary for graduates compared to the cost of education.
Oregon community colleges did not fare much better in that list. Oregon Coast Community College was the highest finisher from the Beaver State, coming in at 180th on the list. The next highest ranking in Oregon was Umpuqua Community College at 352.
Oregon’s ranking could rise quickly in the near future, however. Currently Oregon is one of only three states, along with Minnesota and Tennessee, to pass laws allow students to attend community college free of charge.
As those rewards will not begin distribution until 2016, the financial savings were not included in this year’s rankings. When that bill does kick in, Oregon’ community college system will likely climb the rankings.
Related Slideshow: What 11 Oregon Colleges Pay Their Professors
How much do professors at Oregon colleges and universities make? Here are the the 2013-2014 school year average salaries for full time, assistant and associate professors from schools who participated in the American Association of University Professors Survey.
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