TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Schools

June 3, 2011

SCC ranked as one of nation’s 120 best

CORBIN — Special to the Times-Tribune

In its first step to identify the nation’s best community colleges and award $1 million in prize money, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program ranked Somerset Community College as one of the nation’s 120 best community colleges, challenging it to compete for the prize funds (to be announced in December 2011) by insisting on high standards for learning, college completion without delay, and serving as a training ground for jobs that pay competitive wages. The full list of eligible institutions can be found at www.AspenCCPrize.org.

Somerset Community College and 119 other community colleges will be winnowed to eight-to-ten finalists in September based on how much students learn, how many complete their programs on time, and how well students do in the job market after graduating.

Speaking for the jury that will select winners and finalists, former Governor of Michigan John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable and former president of the National Association of Manufacturers, emphasized the tremendous importance of community colleges in preparing the high-tech workforce American companies need.

Aspen will conduct site visits to each of the 10 finalists in the fall. And, based on the evidence, the Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner and two to three runner-ups, to be announced in December.

The Aspen Prize is funded by the Joyce Foundation, the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

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