FKCC Nationally Recognized, Up For $1M Prize

FKCC Among 150 invited to Compete for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

KEY WEST, FL, October 12, 2017— The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Florida Keys Community College among the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  The biennial award is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges.  With a singular focus on student success, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings; and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

“We share this distinction with our entire FKCC family; it is through the combined efforts of our faculty, staff, students, community partners, and supporters that we have ascended to this prestigious rank,” said FKCC President Dr. Jonathan Gueverra.  “I am grateful for their unrelenting dedication to the success of our students and the prosperity of the Florida Keys— especially now during these tough post-Hurricane Irma times.”

The 150 community colleges named as eligible to compete for the 2019 Prize were selected from nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes.  Located in 39 states in urban, rural, and suburban areas, serving as few as 300 students and as many as 95,000 students, these colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector.  This year, there are nearly 60 institutions eligible to compete for the Prize that were not eligible for the 2017 Aspen Prize.

“Especially in the current social and economic climate, it is exceptionally important that our nation’s community colleges develop the diverse talent needed to fuel democratic engagement, social mobility, and economic opportunity and growth,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.  “Through this competition we’re working to inspire other institutions across our country to ensure more students succeed in college and their lives beyond those campuses.”

The top ten finalists for the 2019 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2018.  The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data.  A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner, finalist(s) with distinction, and rising star(s) in spring 2019. To read more on the selection process, visit: www.highered.aspeninstitute.org/aspen-prize.

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The 2019 Aspen Prize is funded by the Joyce Foundation and the Siemens Foundation.

The Aspen Institute 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 http://highered.aspeninstitute.org/.

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 www.aspeninstitute.org.