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New Site Tracks Community College Alumni Earnings

Aired 6/19/13 on KPBS News.

California Community Colleges unveiled on Wednesday a site that tracks alumni earnings at Grossmont College.

— California Community Colleges unveiled on Wednesday a site that tracks alumni earnings at Grossmont College.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris showed off the college system's new Salary Surfer website, which shows that alumni of the system's nursing programs earn a median salary of more than $78,000 within five years of graduating.

California Community College Accountability Websites

Salary Surfer

Community College Scorecard

California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris speaks with students in the cardiovascular technology program during a tour of training facilities at Grossmont Community College, June 19, 2013

The site uses data from state's Employment Development Department to track earnings for alumni of the system's 179 most-enrolled programs. It specifically tracks salaries of alumni that do not go on to a four-year college or university.

Harris said the site shows on average that within two years of graduating, those who complete an associate’s degree earn double what they were earning two years prior to graduation. Within five years of graduating, they triple their earlier earnings.

“You’ll see what a tremendous return on investment this is for the students who enroll in California’s community colleges. You’ll also see what a great ROI it is for the taxpayers who fund these institutions,” he said.

Two months ago, the community colleges released campus scorecards that track student persistence and completion. Nearly 50 percent of students who enroll in the state’s community colleges complete a degree or certificate.

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