SCC ranked as No. 2 community college in the state, among tops in the nation

For the second straight year, Stanly Community College has been ranked among the elite community colleges in North Carolina, according to the 2022 Niche ranking.

Receiving an overall score of a B+, SCC was ranked No. 2 out of 58 community colleges in the state, coming in behind only Randolph Community College. Last year, SCC was ranked No. 1 in the state.

The college was also ranked as the top online college in the state.

To determine the college rankings, Niche combined data from the U.S. Department of Education and other sources with user input — reviews and ratings from current students, alumni and parents — in an analysis that included academics, student life, value for the financial investment and other factors.

SCC was not just compared favorably to its counterparts across the state, it also ranked highly when compared to colleges across the country. It came in at No. 20 out of 326 schools in the “Best Online Colleges in America” category — the only North Carolina school in the top 20 — and it came in at No. 22 out of 845 in the “Best Community Colleges in America” category.

“I hope that it sends a clear message to our community that Stanly is a consistent, high-quality higher-education institution and one that Stanly County can be proud of,” said SCC President Dr. John Enamait.

Considering that a large portion of the rankings come from student comments, “it means a lot that our students think that Stanly is among the best in the state and the nation,” Enamait added.

The rankings come as SCC is in the midst of celebrating its 50th anniversary. The college was founded in July 1971.

SCC received the highest grades in student life (A), safety (A) and value (A-). The average cost to attend SCC is $8,447, according to Niche, much lower than the national average of $15,523. The college’s graduation rate of 55 percent also compared favorably to the national average, which is 49 percent.

The only categories SCC appeared to struggle, as least compared to the others, was in terms of professors (B-) and diversity (B-). When it comes to faculty demographics, Niche shows that 96 percent of all instructors are white, compared with only three percent of instructors who are Hispanic and one percent who are Black.

The student population seems to be more diverse, with 66 percent white, followed by 17 percent of the population Black. Three percent are also Hispanic and Asian.

Knowing that the rankings have come out in the middle of the pandemic, “I think it only continues to demonstrate the commitment that our faculty and staff have to ensuring that our students receive the education they are seeking but also the supports they need to be successful,” Enamait said.