GLENDORA, Calif. – Citrus College is one of only 150 community colleges in the nation – and one of eight in the state – to be selected for a chance to compete for the $1 million 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence award, which aims to shine a spotlight on community colleges that deliver exceptional student completion outcomes.
Colleges were selected from a national pool of more than 1,000 public two-year colleges based on an assessment of institutional performance, improvement and equity – evidence of strong completion results for minority and low-income students.
The prize – awarded every two years by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program – recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.
Citrus College’s nomination for the Aspen award validates the college’s outstanding record of degree completion nationally. Recognized by both Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education and Community College Week as a top community college in the United States for degree completion, Citrus College has pledged to be a College of Completion.
Members of the college community have rallied around student success as their primary aim, with growing support from community and business leaders throughout the region. The selection distinguishes Citrus College as one of America’s highest-achieving and best-performing community colleges, serving as a model of success and leadership for other campuses to replicate.
“Citrus College is honored to be recognized for its strong commitment to provide a high-quality education and foster success among every single one of our students,” said Superintendent/President Geraldine M. Perri, Ph.D. “We will continue to raise the bar to ensure that our students have the resources to meet their goals and earn an associate degree, receive a career/technical certificate and/or transfer to a four-year college or university.”
In fall 2014, a selection committee of community college and higher education experts will select which 10 community colleges will advance to the next round of the competition based on the applications submitted.
The Institute will subsequently conduct site visits to these finalist institutions, collecting information that will be used by a prize jury to select the winner in early 2015.
“Being selected to participate in one of the most prestigious community college competitions in the nation validates our college of completion effort,” said Dr. Patricia Rasmussen, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees. “This is truly a great honor for Citrus College.”
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
A full list of the 150 community colleges is available at http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/aspen-prize/2015-eligible-community-colleges.