Highlighting the critical importance of improving student success in America’s community colleges, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Butler Community College as one the nation’s 120 top community colleges, challenging it to compete for the $1 million fund for the 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
“When Butler is recognized as one of the top community colleges in the nation for its student learning outcomes that speaks directly to the measurable impact of Butler’s ‘pure learning power’ for our students and the communities we serve,” said Butler president Jackie Vietti.
The Aspen Institute identified the 120 community colleges — 10 percent of all institutions — using a quantitative formula that assesses performance and improvement in four areas: graduation rates, degrees awarded, student retention rates, and equity in student outcomes. These colleges will now compete for the prestigious honor following a year-long research process into how well their students learn, complete degrees, and get jobs with competitive wages after graduating.
Butler and 119 other community colleges will be winnowed to eight-to-ten finalists in September based on how much students learn, how many complete their programs on time, and how well students do in the job market after graduating.
“Being invited by an organization of the Aspen Institute’s caliber is an honor that reflects upon the stellar work of our faculty and staff that work tirelessly to foster our students’ success,” Vietti said. “When students choose Butler, we choose them. When they succeed, so do we.”
The Aspen Institute will conduct site visits to each of the finalists in the fall. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner and four runners-up, to be announced in March 2013. A full list of the 120 community colleges is available at www.AspenCCPrize.org.