Community Colleges

The Aspen Prize: Awarding Top Community Colleges

March 18, 2013  • Mary Cappabianca

College Excellence Program Director Josh Wyner explains the criteria for selecting the Aspen Prize finalists.

Community colleges remain at the center of a national dialogue about workforce preparedness, economic growth and higher education. In an effort to identify the best practices of community colleges throughout the country and disseminate them, the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence program recognizes the nation’s top institutions of this kind with the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence annually. Today, Santa Barbara City College and Walla Walla Community College, along with other two Finalists with Distinction,¬†were honored at an awards ceremony and celebration at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Watch the video below to learn what makes these educational institutions great and how they exemplify the expansive potential of community colleges and higher education in the US.


Santa Barbara City College (Santa Barbara, CA)

Walla Walla Community College (Walla Walla, WA)



Lake Area Technical Institute (Watertown, SD)

Kingsborough Community College-CUNY (Brooklyn, NY)


Brazosport College (Lake Jackson, TX)

Broward College (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

College of the Ouachitas (Malvern, AR)

Santa Fe College (Gainesville, FL)

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (Cumberland, KY)

West Kentucky Community and Technical College (Paducah, KY)

Congratulations to all of the winners! Learn about community college best practices and previous Aspen Prize-winning schools at the College Program.