Key Coverage

How Can Community Colleges Get More Students to Graduate?

When Jerry O’Neal went to school a couple of decades ago, career services was something you went to as you were getting ready to graduate and didn’t have a job lined up.

That’s not true for his daughter, Lisa O’Neal, who is in her first year at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. She’s starting her academic career thinking about career services and what she wants to do when it she gets out.

“I had no clue when I was going to school,” Jerry O’Neal, 48, of Dayton said. “I didn’t know what classes I should take, or how to get anywhere. Lisa is so much more focused, thanks to all the thinking the college is forcing her to do at the beginning — it’s really going to help her get through.”

A laser-like focus has helped Sinclair drive its graduation rates up. And the moves Sinclair has made are now being made at some Michigan community colleges, which are also hoping to raise their graduation rates.