Washington, DC, January 23, 2014 Highlighting the critical importance of improving
student success in America s community colleges, the Aspen Institute College Excellence
Program today named Hazard Community and Technical College as one of the nation s
top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community
College Excellence and $1 million dollars in prize funds.
The Prize, awarded every two years, is the nation s signature recognition of high
achievement and performance among America s community colleges and recognizes institutions
for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and
degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success
for minority and low-income students.
HCTC President Dr. Steve Greiner said he was pleased that HCTC was named for the honor.
Our faculty and staff are so very committed to student success and I m so glad to
see their efforts recognized. Their excellence has led us to this honor, just as in
2011 and 2013 when we were also recognized by Aspen.
The Aspen Institute identified the top 150 community colleges through an assessment
of institutional performance, improvement, and equity on student retention and completion
measures. Together, the 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the Prize represent
the diversity and richness.
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.
The selection process includes three perspectives:
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)
Ten finalists will be named in fall 2014. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a
grand prize winner and a few finalists with distinction in early 2015.