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SFCC Garners Second Nod for Aspen Prize

Submitted by on April 26, 2012 – 2:06 pmNo Comment

For the second year in a row, South Florida Community College (SFCC) is among 120 out of over 1,200 community colleges across the United States to have been deemed eligible for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. 

“We’re thrilled to find our college among those eligible for the Aspen Prize again this year and to be recognized for the academic excellence of our students,” said Dr. Norm Stephens, president, South Florida Community College. “Student success is our highest priority. We have outstanding faculty. Their dedication and their caring approach makes our college deserving of this recognition.”

The Aspen Prize recognizes community colleges that deliver exceptional student results, stimulate replication of successful campus practices and leadership, and contribute to the development of high-quality measures and benchmarks for assessing community college student outcomes. To highlight the critical importance of improving student success across the country, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program is challenging these 120 colleges to vie for funds from the $1 million 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

Valencia College in Orlando was awarded the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in December 2011.  Four additional colleges shared the spotlight as finalists-with-distinction, including Miami Dade College (Florida), Lake Area Technical Institute (South Dakota), Walla Walla Community College (Washington), and West Kentucky Community and Technical College.  As with last year’s Aspen Prize, half of the 28 colleges in the Florida College System are eligible to compete this year, the most allowed in any state. In all, colleges in 31 states are eligible for the prize.  A full list of the 120 community colleges is available at www.AspenPrize.org.

The community colleges named to compete for this year’s Aspen Prize competition were selected using publicly available data on student outcomes. They were identified by using a formula that assesses performance and improvement in four areas: graduation rates, degrees awarded, student retention rates, and equity in student outcomes. As part of the Aspen Prize selection, the colleges have been asked to submit detailed data on degree/certificate completion, labor market outcomes, and student learning outcomes.

Ten finalists will be named in September 2012, and the Aspen Institute will conduct site visits to each of the finalists in the fall. An Aspen Prize jury, co-chaired by former Michigan Governor John Engler and former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley, will select a grand prize winner and four runners up in March 2013. The grand prize winner receives $600,000, and $400,000 will be divided among the four finalists with distinction.

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