Two CUNY’s entities among the 10 finalists for Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence 2023

The prize honors outstanding works in the areas that include retention, completion, and transfer, improvement in performance over time, and equity. It is equivalent of 1 million distributed between a winner and four finalists and rising stars.

The Aspen Institute announced last week the 10 finalists for the 2023 Aspen prize College Excellence, which awards a community college every two years. Teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and equity for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds the five critical areas in which competitors have to show outstanding achievement, according to the organization.

New York, Texas and California states are the most represented in the final round with two entities each. Kingsborough and Hostos Community Colleges, are in the running for the prize for the first time since the beginning of the competition in 2011.

Such a prowess of two CUNY colleges delights the Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “We are ecstatic that two CUNY schools have reached the final round of selection for the Aspen Prize and congratulate our Kingsborough and Hostos community colleges for their achievement, which affirms the many ways they are transforming their students’ lives,” he said in a report on cuny.com.

To Chancellor Matos Rodríguez, “The validation that CUNY’s community colleges continue to receive through the rigorous selection process for the 2023 Aspen Prize, the nation’s signature recognition of excellence for community colleges, is a great testament to their efficacy — and that of CUNY itself — as engines of social and economic mobility and drivers of New York’s equitable economic resurgence.”

The two schools from Texas Amarillo College and San Jacinto College and those from California, Imperial Valley College, Moorpark College. The four other finalists come from Florida, Broward College, Iowa, Northwest Iowa Community College, Washington, South Puget Sound Community College and Wisconsin, Southwest Wiscosin Technical College.

The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence process begins in October, and the first selection is done in November 2021. For this current edition, on November 2, the institute published the list of 150 schools out of 982 qualified for the quarterfinal, and later, that of 25 of those competing in semifinal.

San Antonio College, Alamo College District (TX) won the prize in 2021. Three other Texas’ community colleges, San Jacinto, Amarillo (rising star) and Odessa, were competing in the final round. From New York CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan Community College was among the 10 finalists in 2021. Kingsborough Community College accessed the round of 10 in 2019 while Hostos got a finalist honor ($ 100 000) in 2015.

The previous years’ winner were Indian River State College (FL) and Miami Dade College (FL), 2019, Lake Area Technical College (SD), 2017, Santa Fe College (FL), 2015, Santa Barbara City College (CA), 2013, and Valencia College (FL), 2011.

The prize is worth of 1 million dollars, with 600 000 dollars go the winner and the rest to finalists and/or rising stars.

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