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Aspen Institute names LaGuardia Community College one of 150 U.S. community colleges eligible for the 2023 Aspen Award

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November 2, 2021

WASHINGTON DC– Today, the Aspen Institute named LaGuardia Community College (“LaGuardia”) one of 150 institutions eligible to compete for the million dollars Aspen Award for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition for achievement and high performance among US community colleges. Colleges selected for this honor stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improved levels of student achievement as well as fair outcomes for black and Hispanic students and those from low-income backgrounds. .

All 150 eligible colleges were invited to submit data and stories as the next steps in an intensive data and practice review process, culminating in the announcement of the award winner in spring 2023.

“We are honored to have been selected to compete for the 2023 Aspen Award for Community College Excellence Award, following a highly competitive process,” said LaGuardia Community College. President Kenneth Adams. “This reflects LaGuardia’s strong performance in the five areas on which this selection is based: teaching and learning, certificate and diploma achievement, transfer and bachelor’s degree, career success and equity for students of color and undergraduates. from low-income backgrounds. We look forward to the ongoing review of LaGuardia by the Aspen Institute and look forward to welcoming its panel of experts to our campus next year. “

The Aspen Award spotlights exemplary community colleges to elevate the industry, draw attention to colleges that do the best work, and uncover and share highly effective student success and equity strategies. Since 2010, Aspen has chosen to focus intensely on community colleges because they are, as First Lady Dr Jill Biden said at the 2021 Aspen Prize ceremony, “a powerful engine of prosperity.”

Student outcomes vary widely from community college to community, and improving these outcomes is critical to securing our country’s economic future, strengthening communities, and ensuring diverse populations experience economic mobility and mobility. prosperity.

“In a time of persistent inequality and workforce shortages, our nation’s top community colleges are striving to graduate more and more diverse students so they are prepared for the right ones. jobs waiting to be filled, ”said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “Exceptional community college leaders understand that achieving excellence means expanding access to colleges and increasing graduation, but it doesn’t stop there. They are committed to ensuring that all students, including students of color and those from low-income backgrounds, obtain the skills necessary to secure a job with a salary that supports the family or succeed in a successful career. transfer to a university and graduate. This same commitment that is at the center of the Aspen Prize: advancing the objectives of social mobility and the equitable development of talent. “

Eligible colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector. Located in urban, rural and suburban areas of 34 states, these colleges serve as few as 230 students and as many as 57,000. The winning colleges have ranged from smaller institutions serving the rural community and small towns, including the Lake Area. Technical Institute (SD, 2017 award winner) and Walla Walla Community College (WA, 2013) – to large community colleges serving major metropolitan areas, including Miami Dade College. (FL, 2019) and San Antonio College (TX, 2021). The other four previous recipients are Indian River State College (FL, 2019); Santa Fe College (FL, 2015); Santa Barbara City College (CA, 2013); and Collège de Valence (FL, 2011).

In this first round, eligibility for the Aspen Prize is based on publicly available data. Eligible colleges must display strong and improved student outcomes in key areas such as retention, completion, transfer, and equity. Nationally, 15 percent of community colleges (150 of the roughly 1,000 two-year public colleges evaluated for the award) were invited to apply.

The next steps in the process include:

1. Selection of the top ten finalists by an expert panel of 15 experts in community colleges, higher education and workforce training, to be announced in Spring / Summer 2022.
2. Site visits in the fall of 2022 by each of the ten finalists, during which the Aspen Institute and its partners will collect additional information, including data on employment and income and information on promising practices.
3. A distinguished jury will meet and decide on awards during the first quarter of early 2023.
4. Announcement of the Aspen Prize in late spring 2023.


This press release was produced by LaGuardia Community College. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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