(Media release from Georgia Highlands College):
Georgia Highlands College (GHC) has been named an Aspen Prize Semifinalist by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. GHC is one of 25 colleges across the country eligible to compete for a $1 million prize recognizing excellence in equitable outcomes for students in and after college.
GHC was the only institution in the University System of Georgia to be named.
The award is considered one of the nation’s signature recognitions of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The colleges 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.
The Aspen Prize spotlights exemplary community colleges in order to elevate the sector, drive attention to colleges doing the best work, and discover and share highly effective student success and equity strategies. Since 2010, Aspen has chosen to focus intensively on community colleges because they are—as First Lady Dr. Jill Biden stated at the 2021 Aspen Prize ceremony—“a powerful engine of prosperity.”
The Aspen Prize honors colleges with 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.
The next steps in the process include:
- 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 www.highered.aspeninstitute.org/aspen-prize.