Focus on Retention Helps TMCC Increase Graduation Rates - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Focus on Retention Helps TMCC Increase Graduation Rates

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The number of students enrolling in college is on the rise. Now four year and two year colleges face the challenge of how to keep students from dropping out before they graduate. Truckee Meadows Community College Dean of Students, Estela Gutierrez says TMCC is focusing on retention as well as enrollment. "Our focus was ‘Wait a minute, it's not just access. Not just getting them here, but it's also making sure they finish their goal or career option.'"

Truckee Meadows Community College has implemented programs over the past six years to help students who may be struggling.

The college serves 28,000 students. Many, like Fernando Gonzalez, are the first in their family to go to college. "Being a first generation college student, I had no idea where to start, so I walked into the school and said ‘I don't know where to start.' They pretty much helped me out saying 'here's the steps. Go speak to financial aid, go speak to career counseling, go to the academic advising office,'" Gonzalez said.

TMCC says focusing on retention has helped them increase their three-year graduation rate from 9% to more than 16%, which is closer to the national average. If you add in students who transfer to other institutions to finish their education, that number is closer to 34%.

Written by Jennifer Burton

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