East Central Community College in Decatur is ranked No. 27 in the nation among two-year colleges in preparing students to transfer to a four-year school or turn an Associate Degree into a successful career.

The new study “50 Best Schools for Transferring From Community College to University” was published Oct. 7 at LendingTree.com.

The rankings were based on data from the 513 community and junior colleges across the country with the best graduation rates and transfer rates. From that data, the Top 50 was compiled from “those which awarded more diplomas—or saw more transfers to a four-year university—within a student’s first three years of study.”

The study showed that 61 percent of the students who enrolled in ECCC in 2014 either transferred out or earned an Associate Degree within three years.

“These community colleges were the very best we found at preparing their students for the next step, whether that’s transferring to a four-year school or turning an associate’s degree into a budding career,” wrote Andrew Pentis.

ECCC was one of four community colleges in Mississippi included in the Top 50.

“Our top priority at East Central Community College is to prepare students for success, whether that be success at a four-year institution or success as they move directly into the workforce,” said ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart. “Our 2020 Vision is to be ‘Nationally Recognized and Locally Preferred’ so it’s exciting when the efforts of our faculty and staff to ensure student success are recognized nationally.”

ECCC also leads the state of Mississippi in the success of students after they transfer to one of the four-year public universities in the state.

In August, data released by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) indicated ECCC was the best in the state for the third straight year in preparing students for success at four-year public universities in Mississippi. Students who transferred from ECCC to a public four-year institution earned the highest cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of all community college transfers in the state of Mississippi in 2019. Students who transferred from East Central to one of the state’s eight public, four-year institutions earned a 3.32 GPA at baccalaureate graduation in 2019.

This marked the third year in a row, and the fifth time in the past seven years, that all students who transferred from ECCC to a public, four-year university in Mississippi earned the highest GPA at baccalaureate graduation of all the state’s community colleges.

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