Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Two Florida community colleges named 'Top 10' in the nation

Aspen Prize

The prestigious Aspen Institute has named two Florida community colleges among the top 10 in the nation. The two are Indian River State College in Fort Pierce and Santa Fe College in Gainesville.

The institute will select one of the 10 schools for the 2015 Aspen Prize as the best community college in the country. In 2011, the institute selected Valencia College in Orlando as the initial recipient of the prize, which it presents every two years as the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges.

The selection of the top 10 colleges was based on student academic achievement, degree and college completion, job placement, and minority and low-income student accomplishment. The Florida colleges were chosen from more than 1,000 colleges nationwide.

From Santa Fe College:

“I am honored and grateful that the prestigious Aspen Institute has selected Santa Fe College as a top 10 college once again,” said Santa Fe College President Dr. Jackson N. Sasser. “This landmark recognition reflects the achievements of every student and employee of our college, members of our community and partners in education and economic development. It truly is the state of Florida’s award, of which we can all be proud.”

From Indian River State College:

“The selection of IRSC as a top-ten college finalist for the Aspen Prize is one of the most significant accomplishments in the history of the College, and recognizes IRSC at the national level for consistently outstanding results in helping students succeed,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President.

“The Aspen Prize spotlights the excellent work being done by our colleges to ensure every student receives a high-quality education,” said Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna. “This is a recognition of the quality of our institutions and their focus on student success.”

The Aspen Institute will conduct site visits to each of the 10 finalist institutions this fall. Following a rigorous review process of the data and practices on each finalist, a distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner and up to four finalists-with-distinction to be announced in March 2015.

The full Top 10 list:

  • Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, TX
  • City Colleges of Chicago - Kennedy-King in Chicago, IL
  • CUNY Hostos Community College in the Bronx, NY
  • El Paso Community College in El Paso, TX
  • Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, FL
  • Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, SD
  • Olympic College in Bremerton, WA
  • Renton Technical College in Renton, WA
  • Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL
  • West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, KY

For more information on the Aspen Institute or the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

Website for Indian River State College is here.

Website for Santa Fe College is here.