In the News: Buffy Smith on the Benefits of Dougherty Family College

Buffy Smith, dean at Dougherty Family College, recently was quoted in Inside Higher Ed about what benefits the two-year college provides and the seamless transition for the students who want to go on to get a four-year degree.

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From the story:

Buffy Smith, dean of Dougherty Family College, said 90 percent of students at her institution are students of color, 80 percent are first-generation students and at least 80 percent are eligible for the Pell Grant, federal financial aid for low-income students. She said the college’s diversity reflects its close, carefully forged ties with community organizations, including boys’ and girls’ clubs, mosques, churches, synagogues, and cultural centers.

The college’s average two-year graduation rate is 56 percent, and 80 percent of students transfer to a four-year institution. Three-fourths of associate degree graduates are currently in or have graduated from a bachelor’s degree program. Since the college’s founding, 313 students earned associate degrees, and 86 students have graduated with four-year degrees, most of them from University of St. Thomas.

Nationally, a little over 31 percent of community college students transfer, and of those who transfer, slightly fewer than half complete a bachelor’s degree within six years, according to a 2022 report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.