Kristin Hohman
Managing Editor

Lorain County Community College’s most recent graduating class was its largest yet. The class of 2015 consisted of 1,405 students, setting the record in graduates from the LCCC campus.

Another 349 students graduated from the University Partnership program during the college’s 51st commencement ceremony. Students graduating from the 12 UP program schools include 98 Ashland University grads, 47 with a bachelor of science in education and 51 with a master of education; 33 grads from Cleveland State University with a bachelor of arts in psychology; 57 students earning bachelor of business administration from Kent State University; and students in the Youngstown State University program earned 45 bachelor’s degrees and three master’s degrees.

All total, 1,698 degrees were awarded during the May 16 ceremony, with 191 students receiving two degrees, 29 receiving three degrees, 11 graduating with four degrees, two grads earning five degrees, and one student who received six degrees.

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From 2012 to 2015, LCCC has graduated on average 53 more students each year. This comes in sharp contrast with a 2012 study ranking LCCC graduation rates among the lowest in the state.

According to an article in the Chronicle Telegram from 2012, the Ohio Board of Regents is tasked with seeing that students spend less time in college, particularly community colleges. At the time of the study, the Board of Regents hired the help of the Complete College Ohio Task Force to define what a ‘successful completer’ rate looks like.

A ‘successful completer’ is a first-time, full-time student who completes a certificate or associate’s degree within three years, according the the Chronicle article. Under this definition, only about 10% of LCCC’s student population would have been considered for these purposes at the time of this study.

With the vast majority of LCCC’s student population either transferring in from other schools, or transferring out via the University Partnership, this study is a bit skewed. With transfer rates included, LCCC has a graduation rate of 42%.

Another study done by the National Student Clearinghouse and the Joint Center for Policy Research found that LCCC had closer to a 76% graduation rate as of 2012, according to the Chronicle Telegram.

Comparatively, the class of 2014 had 1,367 graduating students and 309 University Partnership graduates. The College Credit Plus program (then known as Post-Secondary Enrollment Options) had 16 students across eight school districts earning their high school diploma and an associate’s degree simultaneously. 150 students received two degrees, 18 students received three degrees, two graduates received four degrees, and one grad received five degrees.

The classes of 2013 and 2012 had 1,362 and 1,245 graduates respectively.