Six Washington community and technical colleges named contenders for $1 million Aspen Prize
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Six community and technical colleges in Washington have been named among the nation’s top 150 community colleges by the prestigious Aspen Institute and are now eligible to compete for a $1 million prize. The nonprofit institute placed the following colleges in the running for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence: Columbia Basin College, Olympic College, Renton Technical College, Skagit Valley College, Walla Walla Community College and Whatcom Community College.
The Aspen Institute selected the 150 colleges from a pool of more than 1,000 public two-year colleges across the nation.
The Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges and recognizes exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.
The colleges have been invited to submit applications containing detailed data on how well their students learn, complete degrees, and get jobs with competitive wages after graduating. Ten finalists will be named in fall 2014. The last round involves an on-site visit by Aspen Institute officials. Prize winners will be announced in early 2015.
Walla Walla Community College won the 2013 Aspen Prize with co-winner Santa Barbara City College.