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Since colleges submitted new information to the state in January, I thought I’d take another look and see if the 90% placement rate I keep hearing so much hoopla about is still just ho-hum, still just average. As regular visitors know, the high placement rates people hear technical schools bandying about include just about everything possible: jobs in the field, out of the field, joining the military, full-time, part-time, and even transferring to another college. With all that’s included in that percentage, I figure it would be a challenge NOT to be somewhere near 90% “placement” one way as the other. (Does anyone really think a technical college “places” grads in jobs unrelated to their field of study, the military, or another college? Me either.)  I was right. The statewide “placement rate” average for public technical colleges and their technical grads was 90.6% for FY 2012. Community colleges had an average placement rate for their grads formerly enrolled in technical programs of 89.5%, just half-a-smidgen below technical colleges. Waco’s McLennen Community College, has a 92.5% placement rate, higher than TSTC Waco’s. I’ve never heard MCC banging its chest over its placement rate, though, something I’m rather pleased about since it means almost nothing. Click on the images below to enlarge the screen shots of my queries at the Texas Higher Education Accountability website.

Tech Colleges' Placement Rates

— Tech Colleges’ Placement Rates

 

MCC Placement Rates

MCC Placement Rates

Students enroll in tech colleges for jobs, specifically jobs in the field they intend to study. When technical colleges start publishing program-related employment rates anywhere near 90% (60% or 70%, like TSTC West Texas’s 67% for FY 2013, published on its website, would be respectable), actually have a hand in the bulk of that placement rate, too, and aren’t just taking credit for a Social Security number hit in a database, THEN they’ll really have something to brag about. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for technical school administrators bragging about those ho-hum, average scores.

 

 

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