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SMC named in ‘Top 50 Fastest Growing’ colleges

Published 11:03pm Tuesday, January 10, 2012

DOWAGIAC – Southwestern Michigan College  was recognized as one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the nation in a recent analysis of U.S. Department of Education data conducted by Community College Week magazine recognized Southwestern Michigan College as one of the “Top 50 Fastest Growing” mid-sized community colleges in the nation.

“SMC has built a strong reputation based on exceptionally high academic quality,” said David Mathews, president of SMC. “On top of this, the college has developed a robust total college life program that includes student housing, intramural athletics, clubs, academic enrichment events and social activities, including a state-of-the-art student activity center. All of these combine to show that SMC has provided affordable access to a high-quality college education and career preparation as well as the total college experience. Many students who have a choice about where to go to college are choosing to come to SMC.”

In addition, reports from Western Michigan University (WMU) and Ferris State University (FSU) from the fall of 2011 indicate students who began their college career at SMC then transferred to either of these institutions outperformed other students.

SMC students who transferred to WMU earned on average a 2.98 grade point average at WMU compared with an average 2.91 for those who began their studies at WMU.

SMC students who transferred to FSU earned on average a 3.26 GPA at FSU compared with an average of 3.10 for all FSU students.

In addition to recent high school graduates, SMC continues to serve a large number of non-traditional adult students. The National Community College Benchmarking Project fall 2011 report shows that SMC is in the top third in the nation for the percent of taxpaying residents that actually enroll in courses at their local community college.

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