Special to the Enterprise
February 6, 2014
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has selected Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College and three other colleges within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System as among the nation’s 150 best community colleges.
Joining SKCTC are Hazard Community and Technical College, Madisonville Community and Technical College and West Kentucky Community and Technical College.
Southeast, with campuses at Cumberland, Harlan, Middlesboro, Pineville and Whitesburg, was chosen from nearly 1,000 community colleges nationwide based on performance and improvement in the following areas: graduation rates, degrees awarded, student retention rates and equity in student outcomes.
The local college will now compete for the prestigious $1 million dollar Aspen Prize by demonstrating high standards for learning, college completion without delay and proving to be an excellent training ground for jobs that pay competitive, wages, following a year-long research process.
“This is an incredible honor for our four colleges and our system,” said KCTCS President Michael B. McCall. “This recognition further qualifies the vital work our community colleges are doing to prepare our students for the high demand occupations of the 21st Century.”
“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 road map for community colleges nationwide,” Wyner said.
Ten Aspen finalists will be named in fall 2014.
The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earning data for states and transfer data from the National Student Clearinghouse.
SKCTC was one of 10 national finalists for the Aspen Award in 2013.
SKCTC President Dr. Lynn Moore said she was pleased the college has once again been honored by the Aspen Institute.
“It is such a tremendous distinction to be included among the very best community colleges in the United States,” she said. “I give much praise to our faculty as they work tirelessly to make students successful.”