BCCC sees growth in online course success

Published 6:54 pm Thursday, February 16, 2017

Beaufort County Community College is seeing growth in its student success rates.

The college’s most notable jump is in online courses, with success rates increasing from about 57 percent in fall 2012 to almost 70 percent in 2015, according to data from the North Carolina Community College System.

“Student success” is defined as a student who earns a “C” or better in a course, which is the threshold for a course being transferrable to other colleges.

“We specifically addressed our online classes. We knew that that market was expanding. It’s growing across the state and across the nation,” said Dr. Crystal Ange, vice president of academics at BCCC. “We put a component of training for online classes in our new student orientation. … We put a component of it in our academic success course.”

According to the data, BCCC was the third-most improved community college in online courses in the state.

Ange said school officials have worked to ensure the online content’s rigor is where it should be.

BCCC also saw a roughly 8-percent increase in its student success in traditional classroom settings.

That growth can be attributed to an emphasis on hands-on learning within the workforce, as well as utilization of modern technology, especially in light of a decreasing average student age, according to Ange.

Between fall 2014 and fall 2016, the average age of a female student decreased from 27 to 25, while the average age for male students dropped from 25 to 22, according to a press release.

“We are actually in the process right now, talking about technology, of implementing a mechatronics lab,” Ange said. “It’s the most modern equipment that’s out there, and our students will have access to it.”

BCCC ranks seventh in traditional classroom improvement across the state and eighth in hybrid courses, according to NCCCS data.

“It’s important that we as an institution continue to improve, and as we continue to improve, we better serve our students in our service area,” Ange said.