College Excellence Program
College Excellence Program
Statements of Support
From a workforce perspective, community colleges are an absolutely vital lynchpin in our system. Although many of our community colleges are innovating and implementing effective practices to drive improved success of our students and workforce, they often don’t rise to the surface so the rest of the field can see what they’re doing and start scaling those innovations and practices. This prize is going to make a difference in the field by highlighting the colleges that are doing the best work, providing the opportunities for other colleges to learn about that work, and incenting the scaling of the good work across even more institutions. Even more importantly, I think, this prize is going to elevate the conversation around community colleges and show the nation just how important they are to our continued economic prosperity.
Keith Bird, Senior Policy Fellow for Workforce and Postsecondary Education, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and Chancellor Emeritus, Kentucky Community and Technical College System
I am pleased and excited by the Aspen Prize for Community Colleges and hope that the award will point out that these institutions, which educate the most at-risk student body in higher education with the fewest resources, are often the most innovative and learning-centered. I hope that this award not only recognizes the outstanding achievement of the selected institutions, but also inspires other institutions to move more students toward success in meeting their educational goals.
George Boggs, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges
For decades, America's best community colleges have been helping students from all walks of life--this prize will give them the national recognition they deserve.
Kevin Carey, Policy Director, Education Sector
Community colleges across the nation are hard at work implementing creative and effective programs to help students graduate. The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, an important collaboration of leading foundations and businesses, will serve to recognize the important work occurring across America and spur the development and implementation of new ideas that will help us reach President Obama's goal of once again having the highest proportion of college educated citizens in the world
Dr. Gail O. Mellow, President, LaGuardia Community College
I applaud the Aspen Institute for designing a national prize that recognizes community colleges that are committed to improving student success for all students in their communities. Community colleges throughout the nation are the gateway to higher education and critical skills training for the majority of Americans, particularly for Americans of color. It is critical that community colleges increase the number of citizens receiving quality degrees and certificates in order to ensure that America remains a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. The national prize will encourage more colleges to follow best practices, create a culture of evidence at their colleges, and fuel the innovation needed to increase college completion in every community. I look forward to learning more about the prize and submitting the work of Long Beach City College for consideration.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Superintendent-President, Long Beach City College
This competition is a terrific way to shine a light on community colleges and their workforce development partnerships with the private sector. Focusing on workers' skills is essential and this prize helps accelerate our launch of Skills for America's Future. I hope the prize will encourage many businesses, both small and large, to partner with their local community college.
Penny Pritzker, Chairman, TransUnion and Chairman/CEO Pritzker Realty Group
American community colleges have been heralded universally for their open access mission, resulting in higher education opportunities for millions. At the same time, this commitment has led to unprecedented enrollment growth that has challenged every college’s capacity for ensuring student completion and success.
We must do better. President Obama’s call for over 5,000,000 new college graduates by 2020 coincides with a new student completion agenda among leading community colleges in the vanguard of innovation, as well as related associations. In addition, the internationally acclaimed Aspen Institute will bring independent, rigorous research and unabashed, credible objectivity to the shared mission of student completion. I am whole-heartedly grateful for this distinguished think tank’s involvement, and for their unique capacity to recognize and promote best practices that all colleges will be able to implement.
In short, the Aspen Award will catalyze the student success and completion movement and stimulate community colleges to achieve the same high standards in this area that will equal our unparalleled achievement in student enrollment.
Jackson Sasser, President, Santa Fe College
Our PG&E PowerPathway™ program has shown us that effective industry/community college partnerships can deliver a workforce with the right skills at the right time. The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence brings emphasis to the important role played by community colleges in cultivating industry's workforce readiness.
Van Ton-Quinlivan, Director - Workforce Development, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
The time is ripe for this initiative. There is increasing focus being placed on community colleges as vehicles for improving both personal and national competitiveness, and the economic imperative has certainly never been clearer. I think that a prize of this magnitude can provide a great incentive to institutions to strive to reach the highest bar, for the field to coalesce around excellence, and for many more community colleges to become the high-quality institutions the nation needs them to be
William Trueheart, Chief Executive Officer, Achieving the Dream