WATCH: Aspen Institute College Excellence Program announces ‘Aspen Prize’ winner, AC wins ‘Rising Star’ award

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Amarillo College wins 'Rising Star' award, Top 5 finalist position

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program is set to announce the $1 million ‘Aspen Prize’ winner for Community College Excellence today, May 18 at 1 p.m. EST, according to a press release from Amarillo College.

According to the college, AC is one of the 10 finalist for the prize that recognizes high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges and the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program will announce the winner at a virtual awards ceremony.

Additional awards for Finalist with Distinction and Rising Star will be announced among the ten finalist institutions listed below:

  • Amarillo College (TX)
  • Broward College (FL)
  • Borough of Manhattan Community College (NY)
  • Odessa College (TX)
  • Pasadena City College (CA)
  • Pierce College (WA)
  • San Antonio College (TX)
  • San Jacinto College (TX)
  • Tallahassee Community College (FL)
  • West Kentucky Community & Technical College (KY)

Featured speakers for the ceremony include, Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States, and Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education along with Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Aspen Prize jury co-chair, Ruth Williams-Brinkley, President of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States and Aspen Prize jury co-chair, and students from the 10 finalist institutes.

To access the event visit and the news release revealing the winner and their accomplishments will be available at 2 p.m. EST on May 18 at, AC said.

The 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is generously funded by the Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Siemens Foundation, according to their website.

The Aspen Prize, awarded every two years since 2011, recognizes outstanding institutions selected from a pool of more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide. With a singular focus on student success, the Aspen Prize honors institutions with outstanding achievement in six areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor`s attainment, workforce success, equitable outcomes for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds, and leadership and culture, the institute detailed.

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