3060 Wilson Road
Birmingham, AL  35221
Contact:  Geri Albright
Director of Public Relations
(205) 929-6315 office
(205) 789-5211 cell

Lawson State Named Among the Top Five
Community Colleges in the Nation

BIRMINGHAM, AL (August 26, 2013) - Lawson State Community College has been named as one of the top community colleges in the nation.  Lawson State ranked fifth in the Best Community Colleges category of the 2013 Washington Monthly College Rankings.  The Washington Monthly included about 700 institutions in the rankings analysis and Lawson State was the only community college in Alabama to rank in the top 50.
Rankings of the Washington Monthly measure institutions based on civic engagement, research, and social mobility.  In the last community college rankings of the Washington Monthly, Lawson State ranked number 39 out of more than 600 institutions in 2010.
"We are very excited and humbled by this honor, especially to have been named in the top 50 by the Washington Monthly in its last two community college rankings,” said Dr. Perry W. Ward, president of Lawson State Community College.  “This is even more significant as it reflects a higher level of engagement and satisfaction from among our students and in total can be attributed to the hard work and dedicated efforts of our faculty, staff and students.”
In ranking the nation’s top community colleges, The Washington Monthly combined information from two sources, the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and U.S. Department of Education for measurements of student retention and completion.
The CCSSE survey accounts for five-eighths of a college’s ranking, and is comprised of student responses to questions on teaching practices, student workload, interaction with faculty and student support.  The remaining three-eighths measure first-year retention rates, the percentage of first-time, full-time, degree seeking students who graduate or transfer within three years of enrolling, and the ratio of all degrees awarded during a given academic year to the number of full-time equivalent students enrolled.
Information from CCSSE shows that Lawson State scored above 55 percent in six categories.  These were: Active and Collaborative Learning (65.8 percent), Student Effort (59.4 percent), Academic Challenge (59.3 percent), Student-faculty Interaction (59 percent), Support for Learning (57 percent) and First-year Retention Rate (58.9 percent).  The Three-year Graduation/Transfer Rate reflected 49.3 percent and the Credential Awarded per 100 FTE students was 18.2 percent. 
According to the editors of the Washington Monthly, the College Guide and Rankings, unlike U.S. News and World Report and similar guides, asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country: Are we getting the most for our money?  The first guide was published in 2005.
Washington Monthly published rankings for national universities, liberal arts college, masters universities and baccalaureate colleges.
The complete rankings can be found at:
Lawson State Community College–Honored as a “Champion of Change” by the White House (2011)
and ranked as one of “America’s 50 Best Community Colleges,” (2010) and a Military Friendly School.