Alamance Community College has been recognized as among the top 150 community colleges nationwide by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and has been invited to compete for the prestigious 2020 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
That prize brings $1 million to the eventual winner. ACC is among only four North Carolina community colleges to be nominated. The others include Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, Randolph Community College in Asheboro and Wayne Community College in Goldsboro.
ACC last competed for the Aspen prize in 2015.
“It is an incredible honor just to be nominated for the Aspen Prize,” said ACC President Dr. Algie Gatewood. “To be recognized by national education experts and to be invited to compete reflects the outstanding commitment of our faculty and staff toward our students and their success.”
Awarded every two years, the Aspen Prize is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. It recognizes those colleges for exceptional student outcomes and success in four areas: student learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings; and high levels of access and success for under-represented student populations.
ACC was nominated from among more than 1,000 community colleges across the U.S. Nearly half of all college students are enrolled at a community college.
Alamance Community College has been invited to submit an application containing detailed data on degree/certificate completion; employment and earnings; and student learning outcomes. Ten national finalists will be named in the fall of 2020. The Aspen Institute will then visit those colleges and collect additional information. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner and a few finalists with distinction in early 2021.
Dr. Gatewood added: “This application process serves as a very valuable self-study experience for the College. It provides a disciplined process and a solid template for looking inward, asking hard questions, examining what we do so well and why. This exercise and experience helps us find ways to improve the College and maximize student success.”
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a non-partisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
The Aspen Prize is funded by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Joyce Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Lumina Foundation.