HIGH HONORS: Broward College and Miami-Dade College have been nominated for a chance at $1 Million prize that recognizes excellence in student achievement.

Staff Report

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Both of South Florida’s community colleges have been nominated for a prestigious award based on their success with students. For the third time within the past five years, Broward College has been named a top ten finalist for the 2019 Aspen Award, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. One of the other ten finalists is Broward College’s neighbor to the south, Miami Dade College (MDC), also in the running for the $1 million award.

In April 2019, the organization will name the winner, two or three finalists-with-distinction, and a “Rising Star” that has achieved exceptional levels of improvement at an event in Washington, D.C.

“These top 10 Prize Finalists serve as models for what community colleges can achieve,” said Joshua Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and author of “What Excellent Community Colleges Do: Preparing All Students for Success.” “Their leaders, faculty, and staffs have developed cultures that drive toward scaled improvements in completion and classroom learning as well as students’ post-graduation success – at universities where they transfer and in the job market. And they work hard to achieve strong results for all students, understanding the critical role community colleges play in advancing social mobility for the many students who historically have been underserved in higher education.”

Awarded every two years since 2011, the prize recognizes institutions that achieve high and improving student outcomes, selected from over 1,000 community colleges nationwide. Focused solely on student access and success, the Aspen Prize recognizes community colleges with exceptional achievements in four key areas: student learning; certificate and degree completion while in community college and after transferring to a four-year institution; employment and earnings rates after graduation; and access for and success of minority and low-income students.

“Our recognition as a finalist for the third time confirms that the hard work of our dedicated students and staff does not go unnoticed, “said President J. David Armstrong, Jr. “Last year, Broward College used the winning prize money to fund 24 faculty-led classroom initiatives. The project-based and collaborative learning has helped our students achieve their goals in the classroom and beyond.”

In the past, Broward College was also named a 2017 Aspen Prize Finalist-with Distinction and a 2013 Aspen Prize Finalist.

“A three-time Aspen Prize Finalist, Broward College continues to improve student success rates, proving what is possible at a large, diverse community college,” said Joshua Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program in Washington, D.C. “Broward’s decade-long reform is built on a culture of results, with systems that link everyone’s job to the goals of student success. Among the most impressive things the college has done is build clear program pathways that effectively connect students to good careers and four-year transfer.”

During the remainder of 2018, the Aspen Institute will complete a rigorous review process that includes examination of data on learning, graduation, workforce, and equitable outcomes for all students as well as multi-day site visits to each of the 10 finalist institutions. In early 2019, a distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner, finalists-with-distinction, and a Rising Star.