The Washington D.C.-based Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Snow College as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Nov. 5.
The prize is given for recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. Based on strong and improving in student outcomes—including in learning, completion rates, employment rates and earnings, and equity—15 percent of community colleges nationwide have been invited to apply for the Aspen Prize.
“I think it’s particularly special that this announcement comes today,” said Snow College President Brad Cook. The announcement came on Snow’s Founder’s Day.
“Exactly 131 years ago today, our school opened its doors for the very first time,” Cook said. “We’ve been providing students with an exceptional college experience ever since.”
The 150 community colleges named today as eligible to compete for the 2021 Aspen Prize were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes.
Schools considered for the prize are located in 39 states in urban, rural and suburban areas, serving as few as 500 students and as many as 75,000 students.
Data shows over the last two years, student retention, graduation rates and degree completion have improved at the top tier of 150 Aspen Prize-eligible colleges.
“Community colleges play a vital role in developing talent and enabling social mobility across the country, and it’s critical for them to get better at what they do,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “We’re pleased to see evidence that these institutions are improving, that more are delivering on their promise. We’re also pleased to play a role in honoring outstanding community colleges and sharing what works to ensure great outcomes for students—through graduation and beyond.”