For Immediate Release
Contact: Daniel Wackershauser, Marketing Specialist
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: April 27, 2022
Southwest Tech a semifinalist for 2023 Aspen PrizeFennimore -
Today the Aspen Institute announced 25 semifinalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, adding a milestone in the award selection process. The $1 million Aspen Prize is the nation’s signature recognition of community colleges that are achieving high, improving, and equitable outcomes for students. In years past, only 10 finalists have been named on the road to the winner, and this change is designed to highlight the increased number of colleges across the country doing excellent work.
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore, Wisconsin, is among the semifinalists. “This is very exciting and due entirely to the success of our students,” said Dr. Jason Wood, president of Southwest Tech. “Everyone on campus plays an integral role in helping our students achieve their goals. Today is a day for everyone to take pride in our accomplishments and know that what we do makes a positive difference in the lives of our students.”
Awarded every two years, the Aspen Prize 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. The winner will be announced in the spring of 2023.
“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. He cited graduation rates that have risen more than six percent for all students since 2015, and five percent for students of color. “These 25 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 150 community 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.
After 10 finalists are announced, next steps include:
- Fall 2022: Multi-day site visits to each of the 10 finalists, when teams of experts collect even more student outcomes data and gather insights about effective practices
- Winter of 2023: A distinguished jury decides who wins the Aspen Prize, based on quantitative data and qualitative information from each of the 10 finalists
- Late spring 2023: Announcement of the Aspen Prize winner.
The Aspen Prize is generously funded by Ascendium, the Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan, and the Kresge Foundation. Previous winners are:
2021: San Antonio College (TX)
2019: Indian River State College (FL) and Miami Dade College (FL)
2017: Lake Area Technical Institute (SD)
2015: Santa Fe College (FL)
2013: Santa Barbara City College (CA) and Walla Walla Community College (WA)
2011: Valencia College (FL)
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes, especially for the growing population of low-income students and students of color on American campuses. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.
• More information about the Aspen Prize is available at as.pn/prize.
| Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is one of 16 institutions that comprise the Wisconsin Technical College System. Southwest Tech offers more than 60 programs in a wide variety of disciplines. Courses are offered on campus, online and in a blended format. The college provides apprenticeship, certificate, technical diploma, and associate degree programs that respond to district workforce needs and prepare student for family-sustaining jobs and career advancement. |