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Sep 19
MPCC ranks #1 in full-time retention

MCC classroom.jpg

Students engage in a distance learning class offered through Mid-Plains Community College. New data shows MPCC ranks Number One in full-time retention.

Mid-Plains Community College students are returning at a higher rate than that of comparable schools. 

That's according to data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, which shows MPCC is number one among its peer institutions for retaining students. The fall-to-fall, full-time retention rate for MPCC is 67 percent. 

"It is nice to be recognized at the top of some of our peers," said MPCC President Ryan Purdy. "But, what is even more rewarding is to know that the education and services we are providing are helping a higher percentage of students be successful than ever before." 

The findings are based on MPCC's comparison to 15 peer institutions. All have the following characteristics in common: they are two-year, multi-campus schools in the Midwest that have similar populations and proximity to major metropolitan areas.   

They also fall within 35 percent of MPCC's fall enrollment and have either housing, athletics or both available to students. 

MPCC's retention rate has been steadily climbing since 2012, at which time it was 53 percent. Long attributes the new ranking in part to improved employee engagement and a new student onboarding process. 

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"There are a lot of things that impact student success," Andy Long, MPCC vice president of Student Affairs. "It is exciting to see that the efforts we are putting into engaged learning, welcoming facilities, using data to help drive student success, targeting specific groups with our retention efforts and being more deliberate in how we help students get started at the college are paying off. The key to making it all work comes down to having great people. As we've worked to improve staff engagement, and it has increased, we've also seen growth in student success." 

The next step, according to Long, will be to help more students through to completion. 

"As we continue to improve our efforts of getting students off to the right start, we also have to look at what is preventing students from getting across the finish line," said Long. "We want to find solutions to help students finish strong and make a successful transition to a four-year college or into the workforce." 

More information about MPCC and the many opportunities it provides is available at

Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​​​