College Excellence Program’s Josh Wyner Awarded Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Community Colleges

March 20, 2018

Wyner Recognized with Prestigious Educational Testing Service O’Banion Prize by the League for Innovation in the Community College

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Washington, DC, March 20, 2018 –Josh Wyner, founder and executive director of the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute, has received the League for Innovation in the Community College’s Educational Testing Service O’Banion Prize in recognition for his contributions to community college excellence.

Named for Dr. Terry O’Banion, president emeritus and senior fellow of the League for Innovation in the Community College, the award recognizes tremendous contributions to community colleges, particularly in the areas of teaching, learning, and student success. The League presented the award during its Innovations Conference, held March 18-21 at National Harbor, Md.

Under Wyner’s leadership, the Aspen College Excellence Program has grown from a single project – the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence – to a multi-faceted set of more than 10 initiatives designed to influence college and university practice. The overarching goal is to ensure that more students succeed, and that educational outcomes are equitably distributed.

“Millions of students count on their local community colleges to ensure they have the tools needed to succeed in college and beyond,” Wyner said. “Improving what community colleges do to extend opportunity for these students – especially for the growing number of low-income students and students of color – is a vital national priority. I’m honored to receive this award.”

Wyner has spent the past two decades designing and building new organizations that promote talent development and social mobility. He is the author of numerous publications about education, including What Excellent Community Colleges Do: Preparing All Students for Success (Harvard Education Press, 2014). He has a B.A. from Vassar College, a MPA from Syracuse University, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

The Aspen College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Siemens Technical Scholars Program, 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. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

About the League for Innovation in the Community College
The League for Innovation in the Community College (League) is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment. The League hosts conferences and institutes, develops print and digital resources, and leads projects and initiatives with almost 500 member colleges, 100 corporate partners, and a host of other government and nonprofit agencies in a continuing effort to advance the community college field and make a positive difference for students and communities. Information about the League and its activities is available at

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