Tacoma Community College (TCC) earned recognition as one of the nation’s top 100 certificate producers for 2013. The June 24, 2013 issue of Community College Week reports that TCC ranks 82nd in the country for certificate attainment by African Americans.
The college awards Associate Degrees and Program Certificates. A student may earn certificates along with degrees, and many career training programs are structured so that students earn certificates that will help them obtain employment in a chosen field as they work toward degree attainment. TCC awarded 800 Program Certificates and 1200 Associate Degrees at the 2013 Commencement.
TCC was named a “Leader College” by the national Achieving the Dream program, in recognition of the college’s use of evidence-based strategies to improve student success and close the achievement gap. Initiatives to boost completion include the Men of Distinction program, an intensive summer academy that supports men of color as they work together to promote personal and academic success.
TCC’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program allows students not at college level to begin work on a professional-technical degree. Students begin job-relevant training in Medical Office or Accounting Office certificate programs while improving reading, writing and comprehension skills. The I-BEST model has gained national attention as a successful, cost-effective way to help pre-college students obtain employable skills while moving them toward degree completion.
A 2011 study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI) found that for every dollar invested in a student’s community college education, $1.70 is returned to the state’s tax base. Students, on average, see a 20.8 percent return on investment in their community college education.