$1 Million Prize Recognizes Excellence in Community College Student Success Outcomes;
Winner to be Announced in April 2019
Brooklyn, NY, May 15, 2018 – New York’s CUNY Kingsborough Community College was named today as one of 10 finalists for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. (See complete list of finalists below.)
Awarded every two years since 2011, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions that achieve high and improving student outcomes, selected from over 1,000 community colleges nationwide.
Focused solely on student access and success, the Aspen Prize recognizes community colleges with exceptional achievements in four areas:
• Student learning;
• Certificate and degree completion while in community college and after transferring to
a four-year institution;
• Employment and earnings rates after graduation; and
• Access for and success of minority and low-income students.
The $1 million prize purse will be awarded in April 2019 at an event in Washington, D.C. to the winner, two or three finalists-with-distinction, and a “Rising Star” that has achieved exceptional levels of improvement. Between now and then, Aspen will work with a team of national experts to collect extensive, additional data and conduct multi-day site visits to the 10 finalist colleges.
“Kingsborough Community College’s academic programs and support services demonstrate a deep commitment to ensuring success for all students,” said Joshua Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program in Washington, D.C. “Faculty and staff are continuously assessing student performance and seeking opportunities to do better. This has led to a consistent improvement in graduation/transfer rates over the past five years.”
CUNY Kingsborough Community College, also named a 2013 Aspen Prize Finalist-with-Distinction, stands out as one of the nation’s top community colleges for many reasons, including:
• An ASAP program designed to help lower-income students graduate faster by providing clear course maps and addressing their specific social and academic needs with a wide array of services, including intensive advising, tutoring, career services, and professional development.
• Nationally-recognized, scaled learning communities that put cohorts of students on the same track, integrating learning and non-academic supports for its most underserved students.
• A deep commitment to ensuring success for all students, reflected most recently through its Diversity Scorecard, a publicly accessible assessment by race and ethnicity of student success.
• Robust services to help students overcome non-academic barriers such as inadequate childcare, housing, and transportation costs.
Community colleges today enroll about 40 percent of all U.S. undergraduates – six million students – who are working toward earning degrees and certificates. Improving student success across the more than 1,000 community colleges in the U.S. is critical to national efforts to develop talent and enable individual social mobility, because:
• Community colleges disproportionally enroll low-income and minority students enrolled in college today.
• Community college graduation rates remain flat, with fewer than 40 percent of all entering students earning a degree and/or transferring to a four-year college or university.
• A college degree is today more important than ever before: Recent research shows that out of the 11.6 million jobs created in the post-recession economy, 11.5 million require a college education.
The 10 Aspen Prize Finalists have achieved strong and improving student success rates in very different contexts – they are from rural and urban areas, serve demographically different student bodies, and offer a varied mix of technical workforce and academic transfer programs. These 10 institutions offer proof that every community college can achieve higher levels of success for students while in college and after they graduate.
The 2019 Aspen Prize Finalists (listed in alphabetical order):
• Alamo Colleges District – Palo Alto College – San Antonio, TX o First time Finalist
• Broward College – Fort Lauderdale, FL o 2017 Finalist-with-Distinction o 2013 Finalist
• CUNY Kingsborough Community College – Brooklyn, NY o 2013 Finalist-with-Distinction
• Indian River State College – Fort Pierce, FL o 2017 Finalist-with-Distinction o 2015 Finalist
• Miami Dade College – Miami, FL o 2011 Finalist-with-Distinction
• Mitchell Technical Institute – Mitchell, SD o First time Finalist
• Odessa College – Odessa, TX o 2017 Rising Star Award (for rapid improvement)
• Pasadena City College – Pasadena, CA o 2017 Finalist
• Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom – Lakewood, WA o First time Finalist
• San Jacinto College – Pasadena, TX o 2017 Rising Star Award (for rapid improvement)
During the remainder of 2018, the Aspen Institute will complete a rigorous review process that includes examination of data on learning, graduation, workforce, and equitable outcomes for all students as well as multi-day site visits to each of the 10 finalist institutions. In early 2019, a distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner, finalists-with-distinction, and a Rising Star.
The 2019 Aspen Prize is generously funded by the Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Siemens Foundation.
Kingsborough Community College, an Achieving the Dream Leadership College, is dedicated to promoting student learning and development as well as strengthening and serving its diverse community. Kingsborough annually serves approximately 15,000 full- and part-time students in liberal arts and career courses. The only of The City University of New York’s seven community colleges to be located in Brooklyn, Kingsborough provides a high-quality education through associate degree programs that prepare students for transfer to senior colleges or entry into professional careers.
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award, and other initiatives, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ understanding and capacity to teach and graduate students, especially the growing population of low-income and minority students on American campuses. For more information, visit http://highered.aspeninstitute.org/.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.
KCC Contact: JoAnne Meyers | 718-368-5169│ firstname.lastname@example.org
Aspen Institute Contact: Caroline Broder | 202-464-4353│Caroline.email@example.com