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SJC named top-10 Aspen finalist
Pasadena, TX
04/02/2019 01:13 PM
SJC named top-10 Aspen finalist
On Tuesday, April 2, the Aspen Institute for
Community College Excellence named San Jacinto College as one of the top 10 community
colleges in the nation. The announcement was
made at a luncheon in Washington, D.C.
“I am honored and humbled to accept this
award on behalf of the entire San Jacinto College community,” said Chancellor Dr. Brenda
Hellyer. “This award refl ects the achievements
and commitment of our faculty, staff, and administration who are focused on helping our
diverse student population pursue and accomplish their goals. As a college, we hold ourselves to the ultimate measure of student success, and being recognized as one of the top 10
community colleges in the nation is proof that
our mission to provide innovative, accessible
education is being accomplished.”
Launched in 2011, the $1 million Aspen
Prize is awarded every two years to a community college achieving high marks in student
learning, certifi cate and degree completion,
employment and earnings for graduates, and access and success for minority and low-income students. From the more than
1,100 community colleges
nationwide, San Jacinto College was fi rst selected among
the top 150 last spring.
A selection committee
then narrowed down those
institutions to the top 10,
and today named two Aspen
Prize winners and three Rising Star recipients.
San Jacinto College was a
Rising Star Award recipient
in 2017, placing the college
among the nation’s top fi ve
community colleges
“San Jacinto College
offers strong workforce
programs that are directly
aligned to employer needs
and job opportunities in
the region — especially in
health care, maritime, and
petrochemical industries,”
said Joshua Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence
“The college has also
made signifi cant investments
in guided pathways reforms,
ensuring that students receive strong, consistent advising to help them stay on
track to completion.”
Over the last 10 years,
San Jacinto College has increased the number of certificates and associate degrees
awarded by 169 percent.
Last academic year, 7,019
students earned a certifi cate
or degree from San Jacinto
This increase is due to a
laser focus on student success and the support students
receive along their paths
from when they fi rst arrive at
San Jacinto College through
graduation. The college
concentrates its efforts on
initiatives that show results
in student achievement and
“It is our mission to create an educational culture
that nurtures student success in every way,” said Dr.
Laurel Williamson, deputy
chancellor and San Jacinto
College president.
“This approach begins
with our Board of Trustees,
who cast the vision for our
college, and it fi lters through
every aspect of our students’
educational journey. Our
dedicated faculty and staff
work tirelessly to implement
new techniques, innovative
methods, and accessible resources in the classroom to
ensure that our students have
the tools and support needed
to fi nish what they start here
at San Jacinto College.”
Community colleges today enroll about 40 percent
of all U.S. undergraduates
– 6 million students – who
are working toward earning degrees and certifi cates.
Improving student success
across the more than 1,100
community colleges in the
U.S. is critical to national
efforts to develop talent and
enable individual social mobility because:
Community colleges disproportionally enroll low-income and minority students
enrolled in college today.
Community college graduation rates remain fl at, with
fewer than 40 percent of all
entering students earning a
degree and / or transferring
to a four-year college or university.
A college degree today is
more important than ever before.
Recent research shows
that out of the 11.6 million
jobs created in the post-recession economy, 11.5 million require a college education.
For more information
about the 2019 Aspen Prize
Winners and Rising Star
recipients, as well as information and lessons learned
from all of the Prize Finalists
listed below, please visit the
Aspen Prize for Community
College Excellence website.
2019 Aspen
Prize winners
Indian River State College
(Fort Pierce, Fla.)
Miami Dade College (Miami, Fla.)
Rising Star Award
Odessa College (Odessa,
Texas); Pierce College at
Fort Steilacoom (Lakewood,
Wash.); Alamo Colleges
District – Palo Alto College
(San Antonio, Texas)
Broward College (Fort
Lauderdale, Fla.); CUNY
Kingsborough Community
College (Brooklyn, N.Y.);
Mitchell Technical Institute
(Mitchell, S.D.); Pasadena City College (Pasadena,
Calif.); San Jacinto College
(Pasadena, Texas.)
The Aspen Prize is generously funded by ECMC
Foundation, Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation
and Siemens Foundation.
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program
aims to advance higher education practices, policies,
and leadership that signifi cantly improve student
outcomes, especially for
the growing population of
low-income and minority
students on American campuses.
The program is part of
The Aspen Institute, which
has a mission of fostering
leadership based on enduring values and providing
a nonpartisan venue for
dealing with critical issues.
For more information, visit
http://highered.aspeninsti and www.linkedin.
ered and follow @Aspen
HigherEd on Twitter.
Brenda Hellyer
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