Highlighting the critical importance of improving student success in America’s community colleges, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today named San Joaquin Delta College as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges. Delta is eligible to compete for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million dollars in prize funds, as well as the new Siemens Technical Scholars Program for students.
San Joaquin Delta College was selected from a national pool of over 1,000 public two-year colleges using publicly available data on student outcomes in three areas:
- Performance (retention, graduation rates including transfers, and degrees and certificates per 100 full-time equivalent students)
- Improvement (awarded for steady improvement in each performance metric over time)
- Equity (evidence of strong completion outcomes for minority and low-income students)
Delta College has been invited to submit an application to the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence containing detailed data on degree and certificate completion (including progress and transfer rates), labor market outcomes (employment and earnings), and student learning outcomes.
“This recognition and invitation to apply for the Aspen Prize reflects positively on the college’s commitment to educate and prepare students for the workforce,” said Delta College Superintendent/President Dr. Kathy Hart. “Delta College has a tremendous power to change lives. It’s great to see that the hard work of our faculty, staff and student achievement is being recognized by the Aspen Institute.”
Ten finalists will be named in fall 2016. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each finalist and collect additional quantitative data. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner and several finalists with distinction in early 2017.
The Aspen Prize is awarded every two years, and is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The prize recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and access and success for minority and low-income students.
Delta College has been eligible for the Aspen Prize three times, making it to the second round in 2013 as one of only three California community college contenders. “Delta College is very proud to be one of 21 California community colleges to compete for the 2017 Aspen Prize,” said Dr. Matt Wetstein, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction & Planning. “It’s a great validation of our work. As Delta highlights its success stories, we can keep setting the bar higher.”
Nearly half of America’s college students attend community college, with more than seven million students - youth and adult learners, working towards certificates and degrees in these institutions across the country. For the first time, the 150 Prize-eligible institutions are also invited to nominate exceptional students enrolled in their best middle-skill STEM programs for scholarships. Up to 50 Siemens Technical Scholars will be selected from programs that provide outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in manufacturing, energy, health care, and information technology. A partnership between the Siemens Foundation and the Aspen Institute, the Siemens Technical Scholars Program intends to help our nation’s community colleges and their business partners bridge the gap between projected shortages of skilled workers and the millions of high-demand jobs in these STEM industries.
Scholarship winners and the programs that deliver rigorous training enabling their success will be announced in fall 2016. For more information and to view video profiles of 2015 Siemens Technical Scholars, go to: http://as.pn/stscholars.