Holmes Community College was recently ranked 38 in the Top 50 Best Value Community Colleges of 2016 by Value Colleges (www.valuecolleges.com).
According to their website, Value Colleges used data from College Measures (a Gates Foundation-supported database) to survey the 1,717 community colleges in the United States that offer two-year associate degrees. The company then filtered the results to find schools that met criteria that they deemed to be most relevant in finding the best value community colleges: average-high graduation rates (over 45%), low-to-average cost (under $10k per year), over 1,000 enrolled students, and American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) membership.
The initial list the company derived from their research had 614 institutions to meet the criteria. The Top 50 ranking was taken from the highest-scoring schools based on three metrics: graduation/transfer rate (IPEDS database), mid-level salary for graduates (when applicable/from payscale.com), and actual tuition (IPEDS database).
As Value Colleges stated on its website, "Holmes Community College brings education to a large swath of central Mississippi through its three campuses, with strong academic programs ranging from business and computer science to natural sciences and health. Students more interested in a career-training path will find technical programs in many highly-desirable areas, such as criminal justice, occupational therapy, and nursing. Originally an agricultural high school, Holmes Community College has grown into one of the most affordable community colleges in the US, with a high graduation and transfer rate as proof of their quality."
Holmes President Dr. Jim Haffey was appreciative of the ranking.
"We continue to be a highly-awarded college thanks to the work our faculty and staff do," Haffey said. "Friday afternoon we received notice that we are ranked in the top 4 percent of community colleges nationwide by Value Colleges, where we ranked 38 in the nation out of 1,132 colleges. I'm so proud of this institution and that we are able to offer an affordable, quality education to the students in our nine district counties."
In the 90 years since Holmes opened its doors, more than 20,000 alumni have received an education and/or trained for the workforce at Holmes. The college has expanded into a multi-campus institution that offers the Associate of Arts degree, Associate of Applied Science degree, technical and career certificates, and workforce training. Holmes now offers more than 50 academic majors, approximately 30 professional programs, over 50 extracurricular activities, 10 athletic sports, and a variety of student support services.
As a school that grew out of humble beginnings, Holmes seeks to never forget the values of hard work and determination that led the institution to where it is today. The goal of the college is to instill a strong work ethic in its students as they are prepared for university transfer, productive employment, and lifelong learning.