For 60 years, Imperial Valley College has been the home of many students that want to have a better education for themselves and make the community a better place.
Their legacy of educational excellence was recognized on April 20th in Washington D.C. as IVC Won the Aspen Award for Community College Excellence. The $1 million Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition for America’s community colleges—as President Obama called it, “basically the Oscars for great community colleges.”
Amarillo College, in Texas, and Imperial Valley College tied for first place. A group of students and faculty gathered at the college center to watch the broadcast as President/Superintendent Dr. Lennor M. Johnson made his acceptance speech.
“We are thrilled and honored to be recognized as an Aspen Institution and ranked number one in the nation,” stated Dr. Lennor Johnson, Superintendent/President of Imperial Valley College. “This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our students, faculty, staff, administration, and the entire community that supports us. We could not have achieved this without the unwavering support of our board of trustees, who continue to guide us in our mission to serve and empower our students and community. Thank you for your belief in our vision and for your commitment to helping us achieve our goals. Together, we will continue to work towards providing an exceptional education and shaping the leaders of tomorrow.”
“Our students are incredible, everything we do is for them,” Johnson said during his remarks, “Every morning I wake up thinking how can we impact our students’ lives. Thank you for your talent, your creativity, your commitment, and your hard work in your studies.”
For Dr. Daniel Ortiz Jr., Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health, this was an inspiring day as he is a graduate of this institution.
“Today is a tremendous day on-campus, we want our students to consider IVC as their first choice option for their careers, whether it’s a vocation or profession, and now we can say that we are number 1 in the entire nation and it’s pretty exciting to share with our community and be proud of IVC and the academic institution they have at their disposal,” Ortiz Jr. said.
Associated Student Government (ASG) President Itzel Landeros said it was a team effort by faculty, administrators, and students to make this a reality. She thanked past student leaders for making their voices heard.
“It’s really beyond words having this recognition and like Dr. Johnson said this is not about bragging rights but now that we have the recognition what can we do more for our college?” Landeros said.
ASG Vice-President and Student Assistant at Public Relations and Marketing Office, Ethan Noriega, was excited and shows that IVC is the place to be at.
“As someone who wasn’t planning to come to IVC and it was not my first option, I think this is going to open the eyes to everyone here and show them that IVC should be the first choice and everything we offer will set you and help you get where you want to be,” Noriega said.
The Aspen Prize honors colleges with outstanding achievement in five critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and equity for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.
By focusing on student success and lifting models that work, the Aspen Prize aims to celebrate excellence, advance a focus on equitable student success, and stimulate the replication of effective culture and practice.