BC Celebrates Nomination for the Aspen Prize for Community College ExcellenceNov 2, 2023
The Aspen Institute named Bellevue College as one of the 150 institutions eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation's signature recognition of high achievement and performance among two-year colleges.
The Aspen Institute named Bellevue College as one of the 150 institutions eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among two-year colleges. The institutions selected for this honor stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds.
BC stands out among community colleges nationwide for its high and improving levels of student success, as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Latino students and those from lower-income backgrounds.
Dr. May, President of Bellevue College, said “This nomination is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students. We are committed to providing the best possible education and support for all of our students, and we are honored to be recognized by the Aspen Institute for our efforts.”
The Aspen Prize spotlights exemplary community colleges that are achieving post-graduate success for all students. The nominated colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector, with locations in urban, rural, and suburban areas across 30 states.
“The Aspen Prize is rooted first and foremost in an assessment of whether colleges are walking the walk,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “The best community colleges are continuing to focus on advancing the core mission: making sure as many students as possible graduate with credentials that lead to fulfilling careers and reflect the development of diverse talent that communities, states, and our nation need.”
While community colleges are an essential contributor to our nation’s success, student outcomes vary among institutions. Aspen measures those variances using multiple data sources and honors colleges with outstanding achievement in six critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, equitable access to the college, and equitable outcomes for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.
“Studies conducted by Georgetown University and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges have determined that our 2-year degree alumni earn a median annual salary of $81,900, which makes us the state’s top ranked institution,” according to Dr. May. “Moreover, our 10-year return on investment surpasses all other degree-granting colleges in Washington. Nationally, Bellevue College is recognized among the top 15% for associate degrees and the elite 10% for bachelor’s degree value.”
“[Colleges like BC] have achieved high and improving levels of student success for all students, including those who are often failed by our institutions,” Wyner said. “We’re excited to learn over the coming months how they achieved that success so we can share the most impressive practices with others in the field.”
The next step in the process includes the announcement of 25 semifinalists in April 2024. The Aspen Prize winner will be announced in spring 2025.
More information on the Aspen Institute: The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.