The Chronicle of Higher Education has ranked Salina Area Technical College in the top 2 percent of two-year colleges across the United States, based on its graduation rate.

The Chronicle’s annual Almanac is published each August, and compares thousands of colleges across the country each year on a wide variety of metrics. This is the fourth consecutive year Salina Tech has placed in the top 2 percent among two-year colleges; it placed second in 2019.

The Almanac compared the outcomes for students at two-year colleges who started school in 2017, and looked at their graduation rates after three years.

Of the 815 two-year colleges examined, Salina Tech ranked 15th, with a three-year graduation rate of 61.3 percent. Nationwide, the three-year graduation rate was 29.3 percent. Of the top 25 two-year colleges in the nation, three others are also in Kansas – North Central Kansas Technical College, Flint Hills Technical College and Northwest Kansas Technical College.

Salina Tech President Greg Nichols credited the college’s consistently high rankings to the work of faculty and staff in recent years.

“We’ve put systems in place to catch students when they first start to fall behind, and get them the help they need, before it becomes a major issue,” Nichols said. “That can include academic tutoring, but sometimes personal issues or even a temporary financial setback can make it difficult to focus on academics – and we can help with those issues.”

Nichols added that colleges are compared and ranked on lots of different metrics, but that graduation rates are among the most important. “Too many people around the country are spending time and money in college and ending up with nothing to show for it – we strive to make sure that doesn’t happen with our students.”