WITC News and Events
WITC ranked 7th best two-year college in the nation
Best practices enhance student success
students return to the halls of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical
College’s four campuses, a recent study has proven they have made
the right choice. WITC ranks seventh among two-year colleges
nationwide, according to a study published in Washington Monthly.
Kevin Carey, a research and policy manager at Education Sector, an
independent, nonpartisan think tank, compiled the results for
Washington Monthly. According to Carey, “Our methodology was
designed to identify community/technical colleges that excel in
using teaching methods that researchers have linked to increased
student achievement. We also wanted to identify colleges that are
successful in helping students earn degrees.”
community/technical college rankings are the first of their kind.
Their ranking methodology relied on the Community College Survey of
Student Engagement (CCSSE) and graduation rate statistics compiled
by the U.S. Department of Education.
According to Chuck Levine, WITC President, 93 percent of last year’s
graduates were employed within six months of graduating. Based on
results of the college’s Six-Month Graduate Follow-up Survey, 76
percent of all graduates are working in Wisconsin and 64 percent are
working in the WITC district. “That is one of our strengths,” said
Levine. “Our graduates get jobs and they stay and work in
CCSSE data is compiled into five categories which have been found to
have a positive impact on student success, according to Carey. Those
benchmarks are “Active and Collaborative Learning,” “Student
Effort,” “Academic Challenge,” “Student-Faculty Interaction,” and
“Support for Learners.” Carey’s research based 85 percent of
the college ratings on these CCSSE benchmarks, while 15 percent was
based on federal graduation rates.
WITC’s highest CCSSE scores were reflected in the “Active and
Collaborative Learning” category. The WITC benchmark for
“Student-Faculty Interaction” was also quite high.
“As student senate president and full time nursing student, I spend
a lot of my time on campus interacting with students and
instructors,” said Heidi Bailen. “It is no surprise to me that
we are ranked so high. The interaction between students and
instructors along with the individual attention we receive in each
classroom is the key to our success!”
The more interaction students have with their teachers, the more
likely they are to learn effectively and achieve their goals. “The
high rating reflected in ‘student-faculty interaction and active and
collaborative learning’ shows the quality of instruction and the
commitment that WITC’s faculty have to their students,” said Dr.
Diane Vertin, Vice President, Academic Affairs, and Campus
Administrator at WITC Superior. “This is not a surprise—we have
always known that faculty members are very student centered and
committed to learning.”
Jennifer Kunselman, Research and Planning Coordinator, said the
study supports WITC’s student satisfaction surveys regarding the
learning environment. Ninety-seven percent of the graduates are
satisfied with the training they received at WITC.
While many high school counselors and parents alike will remain more
likely to turn to U.S. News & World Report when it comes to
choosing a four-year college, Carey is hopeful the Washington
Monthly ratings will raise awareness of the quality of our nation’s
two-year colleges. “Great teaching can happen anywhere. And if
America is to succeed in the future, it needs to happen everywhere.”
Certainly, as the rankings and WITC’s own graduates indicate, great
teaching is happening in our communities at Wisconsin Indianhead
The rankings included the top 30 two-year colleges in the U.S.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College was the only Wisconsin
technical college that made the list. WITC is located in
Northwest Wisconsin with campuses in Ashland, New Richmond, Rice
Lake and Superior, and branch campuses in Hayward and Ladysmith