El Camino is named a top 25 community college in California

El Camino made the top 25 list of the best community colleges in California, according to the Niche 2017 Best Community Colleges in California.

EC outranked local colleges Santa Monica College and Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.

Niche is a research website that helps people find schools best suited to their needs or location, and calculated the results using “rigorous analysis of academic, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education,” along with millions of reviews, according to the website.

Here’s how El Camino fared in several areas including student experience and overall value:

  • Receiving 3.9 out of five stars for overall quality,
  • A Value Grade of C+,
  • A Diversity Grade of A-,
  • A Safety Grade of B+,
  • And an A for Local Area Grade.

President Dena Maloney said she is “thrilled to be president of such a great school,” and added that EC is implementing strategies in order to “move the needle on student success.”

Both the Student Experience Grade and the Professors Grade received a B-, and some students on campus have supported that grade based on their personal experiences.

Regarding academics, Italian-native Michele Tesauro, 20, undecided major, said that EC deserves a higher ranking than No. 25, especially in comparison to the Italian schooling system.

“I’ve been to schools (in Italy) where I didn’t learn or have incentive,” he said. “(Here) they teach and motivate you to study.”

EC received a B+ for safety, and in light of the rise in crime this semester, including five robberies and two “peeping tom” incidents, Maloney said the school is formulating initiatives and implementing safety procedures to assure that students feel safe on campus.

“We’re updating emergency planning (and) putting greater emphasis on ensuring students have access to information,” she said. “It’s a priority to me that we remain vigilant about safety.”

There will be two safety forums on Dec. 6 in which EC Police Chief Michael Trevis, along with local safety agencies and police departments will come together to talk to students and employees about safety in the area and on campus, Maloney said.

She added that faculty members are being equipped with safety folders entailing strategies to address campus safety.

“We’re ramping up our efforts to ensure there is communication about safety.”

Though safety is a relevant issue, students like Julio Rodriguez, 29, communications major, aren’t letting it deter them from their schooling.

Aside from the consistent campus advisories, Rodriguez agrees with the ranking of No. 25 because of resources like computer labs and the Extended Opportunity and Program Services (EOPS), which are instrumental in aiding students to success.

“(The resources offered) make the community college experience much more comfortable,” Rodriguez said.

Maloney said the ranking is important, but that the school is always looking for ways to improve in order to uphold its set standards.

“This external ranking validates what we already know, which is that El Camino is a great school,” she said.