Southeast Community College presents strong placement figures, despite pandemic year

BEATRICE – Tracking placement progress of students at Southeast Community College the past year was different, given the pandemic and mix of in-person and online contact with the college. But placement officials say the college continues to see a consistently good record of students either getting jobs or furthering their education.

SCC Associate Director of Institutional Research, Rebecca Carr says placement information helps the college when meeting with prospective students.
"To be able to give them an idea of what our previous graduates...where they found jobs, starting salaries, job titles that they may have gained from the different programs at our school. When we talk to prospective employers it helps to give them a better idea of not only starting salaries to help them be more competitive, but also to get them excited about hiring our graduates from all of our programs."

Connie Russell, a Career Specialist on the Beatrice Campus, says a lot of the information used in placement is self-reported by students, mostly at or near the time of graduation. It is gathered by personal conversation, classroom visits to distribute surveys…. by text, e-mail, regular mail, telephone or social media.
Instructors and coaches also help track where students have gone since they’ve left the college...and officials also consult a national student clearinghouse.

"Twenty-twenty did present a unique challenge in gathering information with many of our students being remote, and not on campus. However, I think we did a great job of working to get a good result, and you know, sometimes when you expect the worst you end up getting a much better result than you anticipated. So, I think we're very pleased with the amount of response we got from students and the numbers we got."

SCC Lincoln Campus Career Specialist Heather Waite said the past year, SCC had an 85% response rate from students on what employment they’ve gained, where they transferred to continue their education, or if they are still looking for work.

"Of those students where we had a result, roughly 770 were employed, 184 were continuing at their education, 87 are still looking for a job...and then there were 186 that they couldn't track down. The effort they put in to tracking down students is enormous. So, if they're not able to track them down, it's not because there wasn't effort going into it."

Southeast reports a 92% success rate of students either now employed or continuing their education…..only marginally lower than usual. As Carr puts it….”for a crazy Covid year….that’s pretty good.”

Of those employed who responded to the survey, 89% were working in their field of study….and 91% are working in Nebraska. Of those continuing their education, 83% were at a college or university located in Nebraska. The placement report was provided to the SCC Board of Governors, on Tuesday.

In other matters…..the SCC Board approved tuition grants and waivers for students for the coming academic year. The board also approved a bid for heating, ventilation and cooling improvements at the Milford Campus Eicher Technical Center. The cost is $233,900.