Johnston Community College is one of 150 two-year institutions eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
Two-year colleges are considered for the award based on their performance in three key areas: student outcomes, consistent improvement in outcomes over time; and equity in outcomes for students of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Aspen Institute used institutional publicly available data to narrow the pool from more than 1,000 two-year colleges across the U.S. to 150 eligible institutions.
JCC is the only North Carolina community college eligible to apply for the 2017 award, which recognizes two-year institutions that have demonstrated exceptional student results.
“Johnston Community College is extremely honored to be named to this list of outstanding two-year colleges,” said Dr. David Johnson, JCC president. “This recognition is a true testament to the institutional commitment by our faculty and staff each and every day to provide accessible, high-quality educational opportunities for the successful development of our students.”
Applications from the 150 eligible institutions are due in March, and then 10 finalists will be announced in the fall of this year. The Aspen Institute will conduct site visit to finalist campuses, and a jury will select a winner and finalists with distinction in early 2017.
For the first time, institutions that apply for the prize are also eligible for the Siemens Technical Scholars (STS) Program, which will award scholarships to students in programs that provide outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in energy, health care, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.
The $1 million Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, has brought a new level of public attention to community colleges, defined new measures of excellence in outcomes for community college students, and uncovered and disseminated practices that help exceptional colleges ensure great outcomes for their students.
Santa Fe College won the prize in 2015; Santa Barbara City College and Walla Walla Community College shared the award in 2013; and Valencia College won the inaugural prize in 2011.