Tri-C Recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 Community College
Aspen Institute College Excellence Program honors College for achievement
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program selected Tri-C for the biennial honor, regarded as the nation’s signature recognition for community colleges. The distinction makes the College eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
Selection was based on student outcomes that include learning, completion rates, employment rates, earnings and equity. The Aspen Institute reviewed data from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges.
Tri-C President Alex Johnson called it an “incredible honor” to be counted among the top tier of America’s community colleges.
“Ten years ago, we knew — as an institution — that we needed to do more for Northeast Ohio,” Johnson said. “We challenged ourselves to increase academic and job training opportunities for the community. We made it our mission to turn more students into graduates.”
A recent national report highlighted how programs instituted at the College created clearer pathways to graduation and employment for students. The report by the Community College Research Center (CCRC) noted the “exceptional progress” at Tri-C.
The initiatives brought immediate results, with graduation numbers climbing to record highs. The College awarded nearly 4,300 associate degrees and certificates last year, plus more than 19,000 workforce credentials.
Data collected by the Aspen Institute shows that student retention, graduation rates and degree completion have improved at the Top 150 community colleges since the previous analysis two years ago.
“Community colleges play a vital role in developing talent and enabling social mobility across the country, and it’s critical for them to get better at what they do,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.
“We’re pleased to see evidence that these institutions are improving, that more are delivering on their promise. We’re also pleased to play a role in honoring outstanding community colleges and sharing what works to ensure great outcomes for students — through graduation and beyond.”
The Aspen Prize Top 150 represents institutions in 39 states. Tri-C is one of three Ohio colleges to be selected, joining Lorain County Community College and The Ohio State University at Newark.
Honorees come from urban, rural and suburban areas, with enrollment ranging from 500 students to more than 75,000 — a reflection of the diversity and depth of the community college sector.
The top 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2020. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished jury will make award decisions in spring 2021.
Visit highered.aspeninstitute.org/aspen-prize for a full list of the Top 150 eligible institutions and to read more on the selection process.
November 06, 2019
John Horton, 216-987-4281 firstname.lastname@example.org