$350,000 award recognizes high achievement and performance
Indian River State College and Miami Dade College today were both awarded the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which includes a $350,000 cash prize to each college. This is the third time since the award’s inception in 2011 that a Florida College System institution has earned the prestigious award and only the second time that two winners were selected for the top prize.
“I am incredibly proud of the work taking place at Indian River State College and Miami Dade College, said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “To be awarded the 2019 Aspen prize is a tremendous accomplishment, and one that should be celebrated. I also commend Broward College for being named among the top 10 finalists. This well-deserved recognition is a testament of the dedication and hard work that’s taking place in Florida colleges.”
The Aspen Prize is awarded every other year and honors colleges who stand out in four areas of student success: performance and improvements in learning, degree completion, employment and earnings, and access and success for minority and low-income students. The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is one of the nation’s premier recognition programs of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges.
“Indian River State College is honored to share the 2019 Aspen Prize with our colleagues at Miami-Dade College, and we look forward to bringing the prestigious award back to our respective colleges and communities,” said Dr. Edwin Massey, President of Indian River State College. “From our Trustees to our business and community partners, from our state lawmakers to our employees and dedicated students, IRSC is enriched with incredible people supporting a critical mission. Today’s honor is a reflection of their outstanding commitment, and once again demonstrates the great value and purpose of the Florida College System.”
“This award is an affirmation of what we’ve been aspiring to for so many years at Miami Dade College, mainly to ensure open access and academic excellence can go hand-in-hand,” said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, Miami Dade College’s president.
The Aspen Institute identified the top 10 community colleges in the nation based on exceptional levels of student success. Florida was one of only two states with multiple finalists. The other Florida College System institution in the top ten this year was Broward College. Valencia College was the program’s inaugural winner in 2011 and Santa Fe College was named the winner in 2015.
By focusing on student success and lifting up models that work, the Aspen Prize aims to further the national understanding of community colleges that strive to increase student success, stimulate innovation, and create benchmarks for measuring progress.
For more information on the Aspen Prize, please visit highered.aspeninstitute.org/aspen-prize.
For more information on Florida’s College System, please visit floridacollegesystem.com.
For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit fldoe.org.