$1 Million Prize Recognizes Excellence in Equitable Outcomes for Students in and After College
TEMPE, AZ, Nov. 12, 2019 — The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Estrella Mountain Community College, Mesa Community College, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix College, Scottsdale Community College, and South Mountain Community College have been named eligible for the Aspen Prize Competition. Based on strong and improving student outcomes—including in learning, completion rates, employment rates, and earnings, and equity—only 15 percent of community colleges nationwide have been invited to apply for the Aspen Prize.
“The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program recognizes our commitment to the success of our students and dedication to serving our community,” said Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, Chancellor. “Having seven of our colleges named as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College strengthens MCCCD’s position as a leader in creating high-quality academics for the state of Arizona.”
The Maricopa Community Colleges have been on the award list since it was first established in 2011. Nearly half of America’s college students attend community college, with more than seven million students – youth and adult learners – working towards certificates and degrees in these institutions across the country.
The 150 community colleges named as eligible to compete for the 2021 Prize were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes. Located in 39 states in urban, rural, and suburban areas, serving as few as 500 students and as many as 75,000 students, these colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector.
The top ten finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2020. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished jury will make award decisions in spring 2021.
For a full list of the top 150 eligible institutions and to read more on the selection process, visit www.highered.aspeninstitute.org/aspen-prize.
Media Contact: Dasi Danzig, 480-268-6766, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Aspen Prize is generously funded by ECMC Foundation, Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and Siemens Foundation.
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 www.linkedin.com/showcase/aspenhighered, and follow @AspenHigherEd on Twitter. The Aspen Prize hashtag is #AspenPrize.
The Aspen Institute is a community-serving organization with global reach whose vision is the creation of 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. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute has offices in Aspen, Colorado and New York City, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit aspeninstitute.org.
The Maricopa County Community College District includes ten regionally-accredited colleges – Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Rio Salado, Scottsdale, and South Mountain – and the Maricopa Corporate College, serving more than 200,000 students with two-year degrees, certificates, and university transfer programs.