Western Named Semifinalist For National Award

Western Technical College was announced a semifinalist today for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of community and technical colleges that are achieving high, improving, and equitable outcomes for students.

Western was named one of 25 semifinalists for the award, which will be announced next year. The Aspen prizes is awarded every two years, and honors colleges with outstanding performance in five critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and equitable outcomes for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

“To be named a semifinalist for this award is such an incredible honor,” said Western President Roger Stanford. “We are actively focusing on improving our student retention efforts, including social and education justice, embedded and academic support, and faculty development. Just to be among the community and technical college semifinalists announced for this award is truly special.”

“We are thrilled to see America’s community colleges making meaningful and measurable progress, educating people from all backgrounds and preparing them for good jobs,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “These twenty-five colleges represent our dreams for a better country and a reinvigorated democracy.

The Prize selection process began this past October, when the Aspen Institute invited 150community colleges to apply, based on data showing strong and improving student outcomes in key areas such as retention, completion, transfer, and equity. Applications went to a diverse selection committee of 16 higher education experts who reviewed extensive data and application narratives. Next, the committee will review interviews with leadership teams and narrow this selection of 25 semifinalists to 10 finalists, to be announced in early June 2022.