Ten community college finalists are honored for
achieving exceptional, equitable outcomes for students.
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Tallahassee Community College is one of 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among community colleges.
The 10 Aspen Prize finalists were selected from the nation’s 1,000 community colleges in a process that included qualitative and quantitative data analysis and engaged more than 30 experts in the field. These finalists all effectively identify, develop, and scale strategies to propel all students to not just complete college but also succeed after graduation.
“Tallahassee Community College has consistently achieved impressive outcomes for its students,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “Beyond continuously improving its strong campus-based offerings, the college engages with community partners to ensure a seamless transition for students at every stage, from working with local high schools to create and promote effective dual enrollment opportunities to providing meaningful internship experiences for career and technical education students.”
Awarded every two years since 2011, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions that achieve strong student outcomes across four key areas:
- Teaching and learning
- Degree completion and successful transfer to four-year institutions
- Success in the workforce
- Equitable outcomes for diverse student groups
“The Aspen Prize finalists define what it means to be an excellent community college,” said Wyner. “By organizing everything they do around student success, these colleges stand at the forefront of national efforts to develop the talents of diverse students that we need to strengthen our nation’s economic future.”
What community colleges do has a significant impact on our nation’s ability to develop diverse talent and promote social mobility, given that they enroll 6 million students—about 40 percent of all U.S. undergraduates—and disproportionately serve low-income and minority students.
For the rest of 2020, the Aspen Institute will work with a team of national experts to complete a rigorous review process to determine the eventual winner of the prize. This encompasses a comprehensive examination of outcomes data as well as multi-day virtual site visits to each of the 10 finalist institutions.
In early 2021, a distinguished jury will convene to select the prize winner, finalists with distinction, and a rising star and allocate a $1 million award among them. The winner will be announced at a May 2021 event in Washington, D.C.
The Aspen Prize is generously funded by Ascendium Education Group, Joyce Foundation, and Siemens Foundation.
Amarillo College, Amarillo, TX
Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, NY
Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Odessa College, Odessa, TX
Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA
Pierce College, Pierce County, WA
San Antonio College, San Antonio, TX
San Jacinto College, Pasadena, TX
Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee, FL
West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Paducah, KY
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes, especially for the growing population of low-income students and students of color on American campuses. For more information, visit www.highered.aspeninstitute.org and follow CEP on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/showcase/aspenhighered) and Twitter (@AspenHigherEd). The Aspen Prize hashtag is #AspenPrize.
The Aspen Institute is a community-serving organization with global reach whose vision is a free, just, and equitable society. For 70 years, the Institute has driven change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the world’s greatest challenges. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Institute has offices in Aspen, Colorado, and New York City, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.