TALLAHASSEE – Florida College System Chancellor Dr. Will Holcombe today announced that 14 Florida colleges have been deemed eligible for The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The Sunshine State leads the nation in the number of colleges qualified to compete for part of $1 million to reward excellence at two-year institutions that have outstanding academic and work-force outcomes.
“Colleges in our system are selected for national recognition and grants on a regular basis. We are thrilled that half of our colleges, the most of any state, have been chosen for this prestigious honor, “said Dr. Holcombe. “This competition will bring further recognition of the vital role our colleges play in Florida’s economy and people’s lives.”
The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence seeks to recognize community colleges with outstanding academic and workforce outcomes in both absolute performance and improvements over time. The selected colleges must demonstrate that students in their schools gained knowledge and skills, completed degree or certificate programs, and obtained jobs with competitive wages.
The Florida colleges eligible to compete for The Aspen Prize are:
• Brevard Community College
• Broward College
• Central Florida Community College
• Chipola College
• Daytona State College
• Lake City Community College
• Lake-Sumter Community College
• Miami-Dade College
• Northwest Florida State College
• Santa Fe College
• St. Johns River Community College
• South Florida Community College
• Tallahassee Community College
• Valencia Community College
Eight to 10 finalists will be named in September 2011, with the final prize winner and up to three runners-up announced in December. The winner will receive approximately $700,000, with the runners-up sharing the remaining money.
The Aspen Prize is financially supported by the Joyce Foundation, the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
More information on the Aspen Institute and a full list of the 120 community colleges eligible to apply is available at http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/aspen-prize.