Community Colleges

Florida’s Best Win $1 Million Prize

June 5, 2019  • Institute Staff

The 10 finalists for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence—a $1 million award given every other year to the
country’s best community colleges—are working at the leading edge of a movement aimed at improving student outcomes. This
year’s winners, Florida’s Indian River State College and Miami Dade College, fit the Institute’s definition of success: learning, degree and credential completion, and success in the labor market, all achieved equitably across student groups. Through these colleges’ exceptional efforts, the Institute has learned a great deal about the thoughtfulness and persistence required for deep, transformational change on behalf of students. Community colleges are making smart, institution-wide reforms, from focusing on advising to improving professional development. Colleges are also strengthening relationships with local K–12 systems, universities, employers, and community-based organizations. Most Aspen Prize finalists have paired clear program roadmaps for all students with strong advising systems to support students along the way—an approach that has contributed to steady climbs in retention and graduation rates at both Indian River and Miami Dade.