Achieving the Dream Colleges Excel in Competition for Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

Network Institutions Claim Eight of Ten Finalist Designations

Silver Spring, MD (May 15, 2018) – Of the ten colleges named today as finalists for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, a $1 million award that recognizes institutions that achieve exceptional outcomes for their students, eight are in the Achieving the Dream (ATD) Network.

The ATD colleges are:

  • Alamo College District – Palo Alto College (TX)
  • Broward College (FL)
  • CUNY Kingsborough Community College (NY)
  • Indian River State College (FL)
  • Miami Dade College (FL)
  • Odessa College (TX)
  • Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom (WA)
  • San Jacinto College (TX).

Miami Dade College and Odessa College are both Leah Meyer Austin Award winners, an honor ATD bestows annually on a college that has shown sweeping institutional change leading to significant improvement in student outcomes.

“I’m thrilled and proud that so many Network colleges have been recognized as finalists for the Aspen Prize,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “I look at their successes, and I see their exceptional commitment to their students, their dedication to making change, and the powerful foundation that ATD’s institutional capacity-building approach to has contributed to their efforts to improve the college experience for all of their students.”

Awarded every two years since 2011, the Prize recognizes community colleges with outstanding records in student learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings rates after graduation; and access and success for students of color and low-income students.

ATD colleges have made up a noteworthy portion of Aspen Prize finalists, finalists with distinction, and Rising Stars since the Prize competition began, including the Prize winners in 2011 and 2013. In the 2017 cycle, one of five finalists, both Rising Stars, and both finalists with distinction were ATD institutions. All together, 13 current and former ATD institutions have been named finalists, five have been named finalists with distinction, and two have been named Rising Stars.

Over the rest of 2018, the Aspen Institute will complete a rigorous review of the colleges’ data on learning, graduation, workforce and equitable outcomes for all students as well as multi-day site visits to each finalist.

The colleges are a diverse group representing urban and rural areas, demographically varied student bodies, and varied combinations of technical workforce and academic transfer programs.

This cycle’s Prize winner will be announced in April 2019.

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Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 277 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing equity gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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