The College Excellence Program aims to identify and replicate campus-wide practices that significantly improve college student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the New College Leadership Project and other initiatives, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ understanding and capacity to teach and graduate students, especially the growing population of low-income and minority students on American campuses.
Selected by a jury of former elected officials and other prominent national business, labor, education and civil rights leaders, the Co-Winners and two finalists-with-distinction of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence were announced on March 19th by Prize Jury co-chairs, former Michigan Governor John Engler and former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley. We congratulate the Co-Winners, Santa Barbara Community College and Walla Walla Community College, as well as the other eight finalist institutions.
Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the College Excellence Program, on the announcement of the 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
The purpose of the Aspen Prize is to recognize community colleges with outstanding academic and workforce outcomes in both absolute performance and improvements over time. By focusing on student success and lifting up models that work, the Aspen Prize will honor excellence, stimulate innovation, and create benchmarks for measuring progress.
New College Leadership Project
Efforts to improve college student success have accelerated in recent years, focused largely on the need to increase graduation rates which currently stand at about 50% nationally. With the majority of college presidents over 60 years old, higher education systems and institutions have an opportunity and challenge: how to recruit, hire, and train the next generation of college presidents so that they can lead institutions to higher levels of student success.
The New College Leadership Program aims to help meet that challenge through research into the attributes and actions of college presidents whose institutions achieve high levels of student success, and programs that work to increase the number of college presidents with the ability to replicate exceptional results. In our first initiative, we are partnering with the national non-profit organization Achieving the Dream to conduct research, issue a report (spring 2013), and develop training for sitting community college presidents.