Amarillo College

Amarillo College in Texas and Imperial Valley College in California tied for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which recognizes high-achieving and improving colleges.

Amarillo College was recognized for its strong outcomes, including high graduation rates, high licensing and certification pass rates, and low student loan default rates. It has statewide excellence awards for student success and innovation. Imperial Valley College also has high graduation rates, especially for Latinx students, as well as strong workforce partnerships and career program completions.

The Aspen Prize provides $1 million awards that the co-winners will split to further improve student success. “By providing recognition and resources to the highest achieving community colleges, the Aspen Prize aims to highlight excellence and spread innovative approaches at scale,” said Amelia Parnell, Aspen’s senior vice president.

Other high-performing colleges named Aspen Prize finalists include:

• Houston Community College (Texas): High graduate rates, successful developmental education redesign, and bachelor’s degree partnerships.

• Miami Dade College (Florida): Large, diverse student body with high graduation rates, including for African American, Latinx, and veterans. Strong career program completions and technology innovation.

• Paul Quinn College (Texas): Historically Black college that provides an affordable path to success for low-income students. High graduation rates, especially bachelor’s degrees in high-demand fields. redesigned programs and advising model.

• Santa Barbara City College (California): Students from underserved groups graduate at high rates. Strong collaborations with four-year institutions providing seamless pathways to bachelor’s degrees. Success with guided pathways and measurement of “holistic student success.”

• West Kentucky Community and Technical College: High graduation and retention rates, especially for African American males. Redesigned programs emphasize team-based, project-oriented learning opportunities. Measures student success broadly and provides resources and supports accordingly.

The Aspen Prize aims to spread model approaches to community college excellence across the U.S. by determining how top performing schools achieve strong outcomes at scale with high-need students. Insights and resources from winners and finalists are crucial to advancing equity, opportunity, and achievement in community colleges overall. With such recognition and support, these schools are well-positioned to attract investments further improving services, implementing innovations, and driving the type of transformational change needed to realize the promise of community colleges for students, local communities, and society at large.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *