Two Pierce County colleges have been named among the nation’s top 150 community colleges by the Aspen Institute and are now eligible to compete for a $1 million prize.
The non-profit organization placed Tacoma Community College and Pierce College – Fort Steilacoom in the running for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The Aspen Institute selected the 150 colleges from a pool of more than 1,000 public two-year colleges across the nation. Nine colleges were selected in Washington State: Clark College, Everett Community College, Highline College, Olympic College, Pierce College – Fort Steilacoom, Renton Technical College, South Puget Sound Community College, Tacoma Community College, and Whatcom Community College.
The Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, recognizes 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 2016. The last round involves an on-site visit by Aspen Institute officials. Prize winners will be announced in early 2017.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
More information is available online at aspenprize.org.