6 Maricopa Community Colleges among nation's best

Six Maricopa Community Colleges have been recognized by the Aspen Institute as being among the nation’s 150 top community colleges. Phoenix College and Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and South Mountain Community Colleges can compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million dollars in prize funds.

The award, given every two years, recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students. A full list of the
150 community colleges selected from more than 1,000 nationwide is available at www.aspenprize.org; winners will be announced in early 2015.

“We are honored to have been recognized by the Aspen Institute,” said Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor Rufus Glasper. “As a system, we are among the largest in the nation. As such, we are a major supplier of students transferring to the state’s public universities, and the largest workforce trainer in the state of Arizona. We are working hard to continue improving our outcomes and this honor is indicative of our students’ and faculty’s success.”

“Community colleges have tremendous power to change lives, and their success will increasingly define our nation’s economic strength and the potential for social mobility for every American,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “This competition is designed to spotlight the excellent work being done in the most effective community colleges, those that best help students obtain meaningful, high-quality education and training for competitive-wage jobs after college. We hope it will raise the bar and provide a roadmap for community colleges nationwide.”