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NWTC Is One of 150 Community Colleges Nationwide Eligible for 2023 Aspen Prize

Home » News » 2021 » November » NWTC Is One of 150 Community Colleges Nationwide Eligible for 2023 Aspen Prize
NWTC has been selected as one of the 150 institutions nationwide eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
NWTC has been selected as one of the 150 institutions nationwide eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
NWTC is selected as one of the 150 institutions nationwide eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence; a prestigious recognition of high achievement and performance among community colleges throughout America.

Nominees are being recognized for having high and increasing levels of student success as well as equitable outcomes.

“We are proud and truly honored for this recognition of the work and vision that drives our institution every day,” said Dr. Kathryn Rogalski, NWTC vice president of learning. “As educators, it’s crucial that we continuously evaluate and improve our approach to best serve our students in reaching their education and career goals. In our shared mission with the Aspen Institution, we continue to center our efforts towards removing equity gaps and improving student success.”

Eligible colleges must demonstrate outstanding achievement in five critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and equity for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. NWTC data demonstrates strong and improving outcomes within its student success in areas such as:
  • 56% first-year retention rate

  • 41% three-year graduation rate with students of color

  • 52% three-year graduation rate of first-time or full-time students

“In an era of persistent inequity and workforce talent gaps, our nation’s best community colleges are stepping up to deliver more degrees to increasingly diverse students so they are prepared for the good jobs waiting to be filled,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “Leaders of exceptional community colleges understand that achieving excellence requires expanding college access and increasing degree completion, but it doesn’t stop there.  They are committed to ensuring that all students—including students of color and those from low-income backgrounds—graduate with the skills needed to secure a job with family-sustaining wages or successfully transfer to and graduate from a university.”

The four previous winners of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence are Indian River State College (FL, 2019); Santa Fe College (FL, 2015); Santa Barbara City College (CA, 2013); and Valencia College (FL, 2011).

The next steps in the process of selecting the winner entail:
  • Selection of the top ten finalists by an expert panel of 15 experts in community colleges, higher education, and workforce training, to be announced in spring/summer 2022

  • Fall 2022 site visits to each of the ten finalists, during which the Aspen Institute and partners will collect additional information, including employment and earnings data and insights about promising practices

  • A distinguished jury will meet and make award decisions in the first quarter of early 2023

  • Announcement of the Aspen Prize in late spring 2023

For a full list of the top 150 eligible institutions and to read more on the selection process, visit Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

Enrollment for NWTC’s spring 8-week session will be available starting this month. To learn more about the College’s student services and academic opportunities, visit NWTC.edu  

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