Selected from a pool of more than one thousand two-year colleges using publicly available data on student outcomes, a hundred and twenty colleges have been invited to apply for $1 million in prizes, which will be awarded next year to the schools that have demonstrated their ability to deliver exceptional results for all students, including those from underserved or low-income families, and use data to inform decisions and continually improve over time. Ten finalists will be named in September, after which the institute will conduct site visits. A prize jury co-chaired by former Michigan governor John Engler and former South Carolina governor and U.S. secretary of education Richard Riley will select a grand prize winner and four runners-up in March 2013.
"The success of our nation's community colleges is more important than ever before," said Aspen Institute College Excellence Program executive director Josh Wyner. "At a time when a college degree is essential to entering the middle class, community colleges offer the most promising path to education and employment for literally millions of Americans. This competition spotlights excellence and helps raise the bar for all community colleges to improve student achievement and better prepare the next generation for the job market after college."
For a complete list of the colleges chosen, visit the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Web site.