Our Projects

Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

The $1 million Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, honors community colleges that achieve exceptional levels of success for all students, while they are in college and after they graduate.

Community College Transfer

The majority of community college students aim to earn a bachelor’s degree, but only 14% do so within six years of entry. Aspen is working with several national partners to research transfer outcomes and replicate institutional practices that result in strong outcomes for transfer students.

Transformational Leadership

Through the Aspen Presidential Fellowship, curricular resources, hiring tools for boards of trustees, and partnerships with state education agencies, Aspen is developing a diverse cadre of change-makers equipped to lead significant, equitable improvements in student success at their colleges.

Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award

The Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award is designed to elevate community college programs that produce strong and equitable student outcomes in science, tech, engineering and math (STEM) fields and to recognize the diverse scholars in those programs.

American Talent Initiative

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) brings colleges and universities together with the philanthropy and research communities in order to expand access and opportunity for talented low- and moderate-income students.

Unlocking Opportunity: The Post-Graduation Success and Equity Network

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program (Aspen) and its partners at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) seek 10 institutions to participate in a first-of-its-kind initiative that reflects the next wave of the community college student success movement: a bold focus on excellence and equity in post-completion outcomes.

Workforce Education

The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program is exploring how community colleges can meet the challenges of the changing labor market and create robust pathways to economic opportunity for all students.

Frontier Set

The Frontier Set was a diverse network of high-performing two-and four-year colleges, universities, and state systems all committed to significantly increasing access, advancing student success, and eliminating racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in college attainment.

Equitable Dual Enrollment

Four of five U.S. school districts report equity gaps in dual enrollment. Aspen supports K-12 and community college leaders in expanding this pathway to a college degree or workforce credential to the many students who are missing out.
  • Download research as well as practice guides and tools generated through our work.
    Our publications offer concrete examples, strategies, and tools aimed at helping colleges and their leaders improve student success in four areas: learning, completion, post-graduation employment, and equitable outcomes for underrepresented students.