• MHCC Graduation Numbers Show Improved Retention, Completion Rates

    In the last three years, John Hamblin, Executive Dean of Student Development at Mt. Hood Community College, has seen the graduation stage at the college's stadium increase in length 52 feet to accommodate more students crossing it.

    "This is the fifth straight year of completion increases that I've seen," said Hamblin, who joined the college in 2012. "It means students are making meaningful progress towards their certificates and degrees, and they're achieving that highest academic level we offer."

    Conferment data shows that MHCC has awarded 163 more two-year degrees from August 2016 to June 2017 than during the same span in the 2015-2016 school year. The college also saw an increase in the number of GEDs awarded from the previous academic year.

    Enrollment data points to a 1.2 percent increase overall for this academic year, with the 21-and-under age group accounting for most of that growth. Hamblin said that MHCC is one of the few schools in the state that can boast an enrollment increase.

    What all this means, he added, is that MHCC's holistic student support programs are working, as are outreach and recruitment efforts to area schools and stackable credentials that allow students to earn career-ready certificates as they work towards their two-year degrees. He cites MHCC's AVID/Learning Success Center, TRiO, Academic Advising and Transfer Center, High School Services and East County Pathways programs as a few examples that have helped the college tremendously in enrolling and retaining more students.

    "It's an exciting time to be at MHCC, especially because of the overall success we're seeing with our students," he said.

    Kelley Keith, Dean of Adult Basic Skills at MHCC, agrees. She points to a number of strategies the college has implemented to support students as they prepare for the GED test.

    “Our curriculum now aligns with college and career readiness standards, which are quite rigorous and prepare students for college level coursework,” said Keith. “And our student resource and success coaches assist GED students with identifying their goals, making academic plans, and inspiring them to reach their goals.”

    Hamblin expects about 7,000 people to attend MHCC's 50th commencement, held Saturday, June 17, at 10 a.m. Some 500-650 graduates will walk across the stage, representing 31 degree-conferring and apprenticeship programs at MHCC.

    For more information on Graduation 2017 at MHCC, visit mhcc.edu/Graduation/