ELAC ranks as a top college in nation

By Dorany Pineda

The Washington Monthly ranked East Los Angeles College as one of the best two-year colleges in the nation and state for low to middle-income adult learners.

Out of 1,178 two-year colleges in the country, ELAC ranked 13th nationally and No. 2 in California.

The criteria was based on  several main elements.

A college’s earnings, ease of transfer to a four year university, cost of attendance, flexibility of programs and services available to students were some of the key areas analyzed.

The data evaluated for the criterion was taken from the adult student learners population.

“At ELAC, we believe that our diversity of offerings is one of our great strengths. We offer courses at dozens of local high schools, at community centers,  online, at our South Gate Educational Center, and through our Public Service,” said President Marvin Martinez in a statement he made for ELAC’s ranking in the Washington Monthly.

ELAC earned good points on most categories.

They scored four out of a possible five points for the ease of transfer category, seven out of nine maximum  points for flexibility of programs and six out of six points for services offered for adult students.

Adult learners are a demographic of students that are at least 25 years of age or older and meet at least one of  several criteria.

Single parents, full-time workers, part-time students, persons with dependents other than a spouse, and those that do not have a high school  diploma are considered adult learners by  the National Center for Education Statistics.

In a 2015-2016 data report conducted by the California Community College division, 46 percent of ELAC  students are over 24 years of age.

That is approximately 26,300 of the 57,400 students that were enrolled in the 2015-2016 school year.

“At a time when other colleges have limited summer and winter offerings, ELAC’s summer and winter offerings are larger than ever,” said Martinez.

In addition to offering these programs and services, ELAC also has a child development center that provides  on-campus child care for student parents.

The math lab, the learning assistance center and  the writing center provide broad academic support as well.

The extended hours at the Helen Miller Bailey Library and the array of evening, weekend, and online courses helps  meet the busy work schedules and lives of these students.

“ELAC’s mission makes central student success, access, and  equity, and this ranking is an acknowledgement of all the hard work of our  committed staff,  faculty, and administrators,” said President Martinez in the statement.

For a list of other college rankings, vist www.washingtonmonthly.com

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