The Aspen Institute has named Finger Lakes Community College one the nation’s 120 top community colleges, making it eligible to compete for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
The Aspen Institute, an international nonprofit organization, identified the 120 community colleges – 10 percent of all institutions across the nation – using a quantitative formula that assesses performance and improvement in four areas: graduation rates, degrees awarded, student retention rates, and equity in student outcomes.
These colleges will now compete for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which was established to identify and replicate practices that significantly improve college student outcomes. The winner receives $600,000; other finalists receive smaller amounts.
Five other New York community colleges were named to the Aspen Institute list: Broome Community College, Binghamton; Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn; Genesee Community College, Batavia; Hudson Valley Community College, Troy; and Jefferson Community College, Watertown.
FLCC ranks second of 29 upstate New York community colleges for “successful outcomes” as measured by the State University of New York. SUNY defines successful outcomes as graduating, transferring or continuing to pursue higher education after six semesters.
Some seven million students – youth and adult learners – enroll in America’s nearly 1,200 public and private community colleges every year.
“The success of our nation’s community colleges is more important than ever before,” said Josh Wyner, Aspen Institute College Excellence Program executive director. “At a time when a college degree is essential to entering the middle class, community colleges like FLCC offer the most promising path to education and employment for literally millions of Americans.”
A full list of the 120 community colleges is available at http://www.aspenccprize.org./ Prize winners will be announced in March 2013.