Dan Porterfield, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, shares why recognition of excellent community colleges should be the exception, not the rule.
Earlier this month, the Aspen Institute awarded its biannual Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Over two years, the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, led by Josh Wyner, identified ten finalists (from more than 1,000 eligible institutions) that stood out for their singular focus on student success and track record of achievement in student learning, certificate and degree completion, success in the workforce and further education, and high levels of access and success for students of color and low-income students.
At the end of the day, two Florida-based institutions stood out as exceptional models of access, success, innovation and community partnership and were awarded the Aspen Prize: Indian River State College and Miami Dade College. They join previous winners Lake Area Technical Institute (2017); Santa Fe College (2015); Santa Barbara City College and Walla Walla Community College (co-winners, 2013); and Valencia College (2011) as exemplars of how to connect students with the resources, opportunities, and inspiration they need to succeed.