Chipola College has been named one of the top colleges in the Florida College System earning a Gold ranking in the state’s performance program.

Chipola was one of only seven colleges to earn Gold among the 28 colleges in the Florida College System. The Florida Board of Education announced the annual performance rankings of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Purple at a Tuesday, July 18 meeting. The seven Gold colleges are: Chipola College, Santa Fe, Palm Beach State, Eastern Florida State, Seminole State, South Florida State and Valencia. Chipola earned a Silver ranking in—2016 and 2015—the first two years of the rankings.

Chipola earned the Gold ranking for performance in four key areas: student retention, graduation rate, job placement, and entry level wages after graduation.

Chipola President Dr. Sarah Clemmons said the prestigious Gold ranking confirms the great work of Chipola’s students and employees. “Everyone at Chipola works hard every day to help our students succeed. We know our students and faculty are doing excellent work, and it’s very encouraging when our efforts are validated by the Florida Department of Education.”

Dr. Clemmons pointed to several factors that lead to Chipola’s success. “Everything we do at Chipola is about helping students succeed and move on to a career or to gain more education. We try to put students first in every decision, and we strive to keep class sizes small to encourage student-teacher interaction. We have a highly-qualified faculty and staff leading an excellent academic program. We also have an outstanding extracurricular program for students to connect to others with similar interests.”

Clemmons pointed to two specific programs that have led to recent gains in student performance: the ACE Lab and Dropout Detective. “Our Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) provides free peer tutoring in every subject. This award-winning program has greatly improved student success and graduation rates,” Clemmons said. The college also initiated Dropout Detective last year to help faculty and advisers monitor student performance and offer strategies to help students succeed.

Chipola offers 41 different educational programs in four main areas: bachelor’s degrees, associate in arts degrees, associate in science degrees and workforce certificates.

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