As many of you know, I’m working towards earning my first degree in information technology at FSCJ this coming year and I’m proud to share news of what a great school we have in our own backyard. FSCJ also offers some four-year degrees.

Press release: The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program recently named Florida State College at Jacksonville as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. Based on strong and improving student outcomes, including learning, completion rates, employment rates and earnings, and equity, 15 percent of community colleges nationwide have been invited to apply for the Aspen Prize.

“We are honored that we have been named by the Aspen Institute as one of the top community colleges in the nation, and are eager for the opportunity to compete for the coveted Aspen Prize,” said FSCJ President Dr. John Avendano. “To be recognized in this way speaks to the dedication of our faculty and staff who daily commit themselves to the success of our students. We look forward to the growth and progress that working toward this award will bring about for the institution, students and our community as a whole.”

The 150 community colleges named as eligible to compete for the 2021 Aspen Prize were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes. Located in 39 states in urban, rural, and suburban areas, serving as few as 500 students and as many as 75,000 students, these colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector.

Data show that over the last two years, student retention, graduation rates, and degree completion have improved at the top tier of 150 Aspen Prize-eligible colleges.

“Community colleges play a vital role in developing talent and enabling social
mobility across the country, and it’s critical for them to get better at what they do,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “We’re pleased to see evidence that these institutions are improving, that more are delivering on their promise. We’re also pleased to play a role in honoring outstanding community colleges and sharing what works to ensure great outcomes for students-through graduation and beyond.”

The top ten finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2020. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished jury will make award decisions in spring 2021.