Sinclair Community College is set to graduate a record number of students this year and will probably break that record next year, President Steve Johnson said in his annual state of the college speech at the school’s downtown Dayton campus.
Although Sinclair has a positive financial outlook, said Johnson, he is keeping an eye on the financial problems at Wright State University, which must cut $25 million from its next budget to balance its books.
“On a daily basis people ask me about Wright State,” Johnson said. “We’re watching what’s happening very, very carefully… we’re very involved with a healthy future for all of us.”
Wright State is where the majority of Sinclair’s students go to complete a four-year degree, Johnson said.
More than 1,000 former WSU students are enrolled at Sinclair and around 1,700 current Sinclair students plan to transfer to Wright State, according to the community college. Last fall, WSU and Sinclair renewed a program called “Double Degree” that makes the transfer process easier.
“We’re each other’s biggest trading partners,” Johnson said.
Johnson said he’s met with several leaders at Wright State to discuss actions being taken there.
The two colleges are “strong partners” and WSU officials want to improve that partnership as a new president takes office, said Michael Bridges, chairman of the Wright State board of trustees. Bridges said his daughter started at Sinclair before transferring to WSU.
“We really need Sinclair as a partner,” Bridges said. “(The partnership) can always be strengthened to help smooth out the process.”
Johnson used his speech Monday to showcase the successes of Sinclair’s students. He invited the school’s baseball and softball teams on stage while also highlighting students who have overcome academic hurdles to obtain certificates and degrees.
Sinclair is projected to award its highest number of degrees and certificates ever this year, with an estimated 4,600 planning to graduate. The college will likely surpass the record next year by graduating around 5,000 students, Johnson said.
Sinclair is focused on trying to provide students with degrees that help them get jobs, Johnson said. Johnson reported Sinclair students see their earnings increase by nearly 94 percent after they graduate.
“There are a lot of different kinds of colleges and universities in the United States,” Johnson said. “We’re the kind that’s interested in helping people get jobs.”
Johnson promoted Sinclair’s program in which students can obtain an associate’s degree in 15 months, but he said it’s not for everybody.
“We really are accommodating to part-time students,” he said. “We love you. We want you. We’re going to embrace you and have you here.”
5 HIGHER ED MUST READS