VC Eligible for Aspen Prize - Top 150 Community Colleges in the Nation

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 8:00am
Aspen Prize Logo

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has named Ventura College one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million dollars in prize funds, as well as Siemens Technical Scholars Program student scholarships, highlighting the critical importance of improving student success in America’s community colleges. 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 access and success for minority and low-income students. 

A full list of the selected colleges and details on the selection process are available at

Scholarship Opportunities: Ventura College and 149 other community colleges announced this week were selected from a national pool of over 1,000 public two-year colleges using publicly available data on student outcomes in three areas: 

  • 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) 

Ventura College has been invited to submit an application to the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence containing detailed data on degree and certificate completion (including progress and transfer rates), labor market outcomes (employment and earnings), and student learning outcomes. 

Ten finalists will be named in fall 2018. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner and a few finalists with distinction in early 2019.