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Aspen Institute Names Imperial Valley College a Finalist for the 2023 Aspen Prize


The Aspen Institute named Imperial Valley College one of the ten finalists for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence—the first time Imperial has been in this prestigious group. The $1 million Aspen Prize is the nation’s signature recognition of community colleges that are achieving high, improving, and equitable outcomes for students. The ten finalists represent the amazing potential of America’s thousand-plus community colleges as engines of prosperity and social mobility.

The finalists also represent the impressive diversity of community colleges, from a 2,700-student college in Iowa granting primarily technical awards to a 57,000-student college in Florida with a focus on transfer and bachelor’s degree attainment. No matter their size or location, excellent community colleges, like Imperial Valley College, are defined by their focus on outcomes and how they develop the talents of their students in ways that strengthen their regional economies and communities.

“It is such an honor to be recognized as one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation,” said Lennor Johnson, Superintendent/President of Imperial Valley College, “it says a lot about the commitment to excellence that we collectively have. We are committed to transforming our community for the better, and this award, which is considered the Oscar for community colleges, says we are doing just that, making a difference with strong completion and transfer rates and outstanding employment outcomes.”

Awarded every two years, the Aspen Prize honors colleges that show outstanding performance in five critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and equitable outcomes for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. The winner will be announced in the spring of 2023.

“We have been recognized as one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation. What an amazing honor for our entire Imperial Valley College Community!” Said, Karla Sigmond, Imperial

 Valley College Board President, “This is the culmination of years of hard work and a strong commitment by our college in providing excellent and equitable opportunities in education to our students thus providing them with the tools necessary to thrive in our communities and our ever-changing world. Thank you to all for making this Aspen Excellence in Education honor possible!”

The finalists are:

Amarillo College, TX

Broward College, FL

Hostos Community College (CUNY), NY

Imperial Valley College, CA

Kingsborough Community College (CUNY), NY

Moorpark College, CA

Northwest Iowa Community College, IA

San Jacinto College, TX

South Puget Sound Community College, WA

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, WI

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