On Oct. 31, the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence program announced the 150 institutions that are eligible to compete for the $1 million 2025 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, one of the nation’s most prestigious recognitions of high achievement and performance among two-year colleges.
Awarded every two years, the prize spotlights exemplary community colleges that have achieved remarkable post-graduate success among their students. Eligibility for the award signifies outstanding accomplishment in six critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, access, and equity for minoritized and economically marginalized students.
Of the 150 institutions eligible to apply for the 2025 Aspen Prize, 23 are ATD Network colleges. Spanning 11 states, the selected colleges not only exemplify ATD’s commitment to student success but also represent the diversity of the ATD Network in terms of geographical location, size, and urbanicity, among other factors.
Two previous winners of the Leah Meyer Austin Award, the highest distinction an ATD college can earn, are among the eligible institutions: Harper College (2016) and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (2021).
Since the Aspen Prize’s inception in 2011, more than 20 Network colleges have won the award, been named as a Top Ten Finalist, or received special recognition.
The active ATD Network colleges eligible to apply for the 2025 Aspen Prize for College Excellence are as follows:
- Bellevue College (Washington)
- Broward College (Florida)
- CUNY Kingsborough Community College (New York)
- CUNY Queensborough Community College (New York)
- Elgin Community College (Illinois)
- Florida State College at Jacksonville (Florida)
- Harper College (Illinois)
- Lee College (Texas)
- Leech Lake Tribal College (Minnesota)
- MiraCosta College (California)
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Wisconsin)
- Northwest Mississippi Community College (Mississippi)
- Northwood Technical College (Wisconsin)
- Palm Beach State College (Florida)
- Paris Junior College (Texas)
- Pierce College District (Washington)
- San Jacinto Community College (Texas)
- Southwest Texas Junior College (Texas)
- Tallahassee Community College (Florida)
- Wallace State Community College-Hanceville (Alabama)
- West Hills College – Coalinga (California)
- West Hills College – Lemoore (California)
- Western Technical College (Wisconsin)