President's Monthly Reports
There are a lot of ways for us at LBCC to measure our success….
Of course, there are the organizational metrics captured in Budgets, Audits, Accreditation Reports and our most recent Report on the progress made on our 2014-15 Strategic Objectives and, while all of these are informative, they fail to capture the more personal meaning we give to success here at LBCC. Student stories, bits of information shared over coffee or lunch, and the anecdotal tales told at our recent Retirement Reception help to put some “flesh” on the bones of these more objective indications of our success, but these fail to give us a sense of scale. And, while our high school, OSU, and local business partnerships add a deeper understanding of the relevance of our success, this in-depth information sometimes has the effect of what journalists refer to as “burying the lead.”
On June 11, 2015, Linn-Benton Community College will have awarded 1078 degrees and certificates to 833 graduates, making this the fourth year in which we have experienced an increase in the number of graduates, again setting a new graduation record. Here’s a graph showing graduates and degrees/certificates for these past 6 years.
But what does “833” REALLY MEAN for our students, and for our communities? To begin to answer that question, here are some more numbers…….
Oregon State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks explains:
Our new infographic tells the old truth that education pays. The average hourly earnings of workers without a high school diploma is $12.20 per hour, a little more than $25,000 per year working full time. Compare that with the $19.80 hourly average for those who have earned a two-year college degree, which is about $41,000 per year working full time. These are the average wages, so of course some people will earn more and some people will earn less.
Not only are they likely to earn more, but those with a degree are less likely to be unemployed than someone who doesn't have a high school diploma. The unemployment rate among those with a two-year college degree is 4.5 percent, but it’s 9.0 percent for those without a high school diploma.
As this table demonstrates and Beleiciks writes, an Associate’s Degree can mean a lot! It means that you are less likely to be unemployed (4.5% v. 6%, but NOTE that this unemployment rate goes down ONLY IF YOU COMPLETE a 2-year degree) and likely to make an additional $4,368 in annual income over someone who has only completed high school. That means that the increase in just one year’s earnings comes very close to covering the cost of one year’s tuition at LBCC (approx.. $4,410).
And this positive impact is not limited to just our graduates for, when our 833 graduates go out into the community and get jobs and begin to spend their potential aggregate increased earnings of $3,673,530, they have a very significant economic impact on the rest of us. And, if you consider the aggregate impact of multiple groups of graduates over multiple years, you can see how the “economic impact” adds up and, well….. It’s not hard to see that completing an Associate’s Degree is not only good for the graduate – it’s good for ALL OF US!
Of course, the impacts that we and our graduates have on our communities are greater than economic alone. Our commitment to embodying our LBCC Values means that our graduates are more equipped not just for greater economic opportunity but also for making a greater and more positive social impact. In addition, we continue to have an impact after and/or beyond graduation as around 10,000 residents of Linn and Benton counties participate in one or more of the life enrichment opportunities offered through our Community Education program and a wide range of businesses take advantage of our Workforce Training, Small Business Development and Business Management programs.
All of these and more are great indicators of success but, at this time, I want us to especially measure our success by the number “833” – the record-setting number of LBCC students who graduate this year with an Associate’s Degree and/or Career/Technical Certificate. And, as we at LBCC send these 833 graduates out into our communities, we are reminded that their success adds up to so much more… much more for them, and for us too. Together we make an incredible contribution toward our shared success, as well as an indelible mark on our shared future… and we could not have done it without each other. Congratulations to us all!