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PCC produces highest paid Grads in Kansas for four years straight

01 March 2016

According to new data released by the Kansas Board of Regents, Pratt Community College students graduating with an associate’s degree between 2008 and 2013 have a higher annual wage than the average of associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree graduates in that same time from all Kansas public colleges and universities.

In the state of Kansas there are 25 combined community colleges and technical schools. PCC students who graduated with an associate’s degree in 2013, which is the most recent cohort with measurable post-graduation wage data, made an average of $40,118. This is the fourth year in a row that data shows PCC as the highest wage earner for graduates. The average of all other Kansas community college graduates was $32,122 and the technical college sector had an average wage of $36,930.

Graduates from PCC out-earn even those with degrees from all seven four-year institutions in Kansas for the fifth consecutive year. The average wage of 2013 public university graduates with bachelor’s degrees was $37,937. Kansas State University grads posted a wage average of $37,107, while those from the University of Kansas averaged $39,717.

“This is something that we are very proud of,” said Dr. Michael Calvert, PCC president. “In the last five years PCC had the highest salary and in the fifth year, we had the second highest. I think that speaks volumes to what we are achieving here with our incredible faculty and staff and the programs that we offer. Our students are investing in an affordable education, completing their two years and moving on to a good paying job. That’s an excellent return on investment.”

The information comes as the fifth installment of data from Foresight 2020, a 10-year strategic agenda approved by the Kansas Board of Regents for the state’s public higher education system. Established in September 2010, the plan sets long-range achievement goals that are measurable, reportable, and ensures the state’s higher education system meets Kansans’ expectations. The original plan included six goals, but a redesign reduced that number to three: increase higher education attainment among Kansans, improve alignment of the state's higher education system with the needs of the economy, and ensure state university excellence.

The report and its appendices provide data for 21 metrics, including demographics, graduation and retention rates, student success index rates, credential production, and data on graduates' rates of employment and average earnings in Kansas.

As well as leading the state in highest paid graduates PCC was also named the 15th most affordable community college in the country by affordablecolleges.com and the 13th best community college in the country by smartasset.com, a financial literacy website, analyzing graduation and transfer rates, tuition cost, student to teacher ratio, and average starting salary to overall cost. In 2014, PCC was named the 10th best community college because graduates earned 22.8 percent more than their college expenses and had a strong completion rate. In January,

PCC was named one of the nation’s 150 top community colleges, challenging it to compete for the $1 million fund for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. 150 colleges around the country will be assessed for graduation rates, degrees awarded, student retention rates, and equity in student outcomes in order to be considered for the fund. PCC is currently working on an application containing detailed data on these criteria including the data shown from sites like affordablecolleges.com and the Foresight 2020 project.

You can find out more about Foresight 2020 on KBOR.org.