Bay College in top 5 percent of U.S. community colleges


Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN – In a ranking of the top 50 community colleges in the United States, Bay College has earned the 30th spot in the annual list published in Washington Monthly magazine.

And this ranking has college officials excited – placing Bay College in the top five percent of community colleges in the nation.

According to President Dr. Laura Coleman, the ranking is based on a number of items – with the focal point being student success. The results are based on a survey, the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), conducted of students attending the college.

According to Washington Monthly, Bay College received a 55.4 percent score in active and collaborative learning, 55.4 percent in student effort; 52.9 percent score in academic challenge; 56.2 percent in student-faculty interaction; 51.8 percent in support for learning; 55.4 percent in first-year retention; 44 percent in three-year graduation/transfer rate and 48.6 percent rank in credentials awarded per 100 full-time equivalent students.

“We scored well on graduation rate and retention as well as the level of student success. The survey looks at how much contact and interaction that our students have with their instructors and we do very well in that area,” Coleman said.

Nearly 700 institutions participate in the CCSSE, and this year was the first year Bay College was included in the rankings – the only Michigan college in the top 50. There are more than 1,160 community colleges in the country.

Bay College provides this survey to students every other year. Other information that is used when determining the ranking comes from information annually compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education.

Coleman also noted that the college has worked hard to set up support for learners through the college’s tutoring system and supplemental instruction opportunities all focused on student success. The student success center at Bay College focuses on finding help for students who may be struggling in class as well as providing other academic support services.

The Student Success Office (SSO) is the first stop for information and assistance to support students with disabilities. In addition, the SSO is one of four centers that provides tutoring.

Bay West has its own Student Success Center that provides services that include individual or group tutoring in any course, walk-in tutoring for select courses, quiet study rooms, student computers, accommodations for students with disabilities, specialized testing, and supplemental instruction for traditionally difficult courses.

“We were very excited to receive this ranking, which shows how hard Bay College is working to ensure student success,” Coleman said.

Linda Lobeck’s e-mail address is