Once again, Trinity Valley Community College has been named one of the best.
Last year, TVCC was named one of the country’s top 120 community colleges by the Aspen Institute. Last month, the institute once again named the college to its best list.
In an effort to identify the nation’s best community colleges and award $1 million in prize money, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has ranked what the group considers to be the nation’s 120 best community colleges.
Those colleges are now eligible to submit an application to compete for the Aspen Prize.
TVCC was one of only eight colleges in Texas to make the list, and the only college in East Texas.
“Once again, it is a tremendous honor for the college to be named one of the elite community colleges in the nation. This honor would not be possible if not for the dedication and support of the TVCC faculty and staff for the success of our students,” said TVCC President Dr. Glendon Forgey.
“The recognition as one of the nation’s top community colleges is illustrative of the excellence TVCC achieves in everything done by the college.”
The 120 selected colleges will be narrowed to eight-to-ten finalists in September based on how much students learn, how many students complete their programs on time, and how well students do in the job market after graduating.
The winning college will be announced in March 2013.
"We feel honored and privileged to be recognized as one of the best community colleges in the country by the Aspen Institute. The Excellence Award is an affirmation of the continued strife for excellence by the TVCC faculty, staff, and administration to meet the needs of the students and communities we serve,” said TVCC Vice President of Instruction Dr. Jerry King.
According to the Aspen Institute, the 120 two-year institutions from 31 states have demonstrated strong outcomes considering four areas of student success:
student retention rates, and
equity in student outcomes.
The first inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence was awarded to the 70,000-student Valencia College (Orlando, Fla.) in December 2011. It was the first broad national recognition of extraordinary accomplishments at individual community colleges.
According to a recent release from the organization about the prize, Aspen Institute’s mission is “twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.”
The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
The Aspen Institute will conduct site visits to each of the finalists in the fall. A distinguished prize jury co-chaired by John Engler – president of Business Roundtable, former Michigan Governor, and former president of the National Association of Manufacturers – and Richard Riley – former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education – will select a grand prize winner and four runners-up.
“American employers have jobs open right now but lack enough skilled, educated workers to fill them,” Engler said. “The job training programs at community colleges must play a central role in filling those gaps and preparing the American workforce."
While every community college faces challenges, particularly in today’s economic climate, Riley underscored the importance of improving outcomes for community college students, the majority of whom are underrepresented minorities.
“Many community colleges across this country are doing an excellent job of boosting student success, but we need to encourage all community colleges achieve excellence. When students learn more, graduate or transfer to four-year institutions, and get competitive-wage jobs after college, it helps everyone - students, employers and our nation’s economy as a whole."
For more information and a complete list of schools, log onto www.AspenCCPrize.org.