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ERIC Number: ED528904
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Perlstein, Linda
Aspen Institute
The nation's community colleges share a common and vital purpose: preparing students--young and working adults--for jobs and continued academic study. Today, over 7 million community college students strive to attain a degree that will expand their opportunity, whether they aim to graduate directly into the workforce or continue on to seek a bachelor's degree. Regardless of their path, what they want is no different from what every other college student (and parent) wants--an affordable education that leads to genuine learning and, ultimately, a job paying good wages with benefits. The community colleges profiled in this publication do an exceptional job of providing exactly that. Winning the top five spots in the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence competition, these colleges are distinctive because they have achieved high levels of success for their students. They partner with employers to train students for internships, and then jobs after graduation. They assess learning, improving instruction for students who have not always excelled educationally. And, they graduate students, delivering the quality credentials students will need to succeed in life, career, and continuing higher education. Not resting on past successes, the Prize-winning community colleges understand that they must adapt if they are to thrive as their student bodies change. The next generation in the U.S. will see a majority minority population--more non-whites than whites. More lower-income students will attend college than ever before, many arriving under-prepared for college-level work. The Aspen Prize winners offer lessons in how all students can graduate, helping others understand how to expand learning, graduation, and job placement rates. These community colleges are making good on the promise that being poor doesn't mean staying poor, that college access and success together can fuel the American economy and the American dream. The Aspen Institute congratulates the first annual Aspen Prize winner--Valencia College--and four finalists with distinction. On so many other community college campuses across the United States, the hard work of educating the next generation of nurses and laser technicians, school teachers and small business owners, as well as retraining a current generation of displaced workers, is being performed admirably. With this prestigious prize, the Aspen Institute and its partners aim to further the national understanding of how community colleges can increase student success. The winning community colleges profiled in this document have done just that. They have shown us that what colleges do matters deeply to student achievement. [This paper was supported by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and JPMorgan Chase Foundation.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation; Joyce Foundation
Authoring Institution: Aspen Institute
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Kentucky; South Dakota; Washington