By Amanda Fenwick
The Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence has named San Jacinto College as one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation. The announcement was made at a luncheon in Washington, D.C.
“I am honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of the entire San Jacinto College community,” said Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “This award reflects the achievements and commitment of our faculty, staff, and administration who are focused on helping our diverse student population pursue and accomplish their goals. As a college, we hold ourselves to the ultimate measure of student success, and being recognized as one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation is proof that our mission to provide innovative, accessible education is being accomplished.”
Launched in 2011, the $1 million Aspen Prize is awarded every two years to a community college achieving high marks in student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings for graduates, and access and success for minority and low-income students. From the more than 1,100 community colleges nationwide, San Jacinto College was first selected among the top 150 last spring. A selection committee then narrowed down those institutions to the top 10, and today named two Aspen Prize winners and three Rising Star recipients. San Jacinto College was a Rising Star Award recipient in 2017, placing the College among the nation’s top 5 community colleges.
“San Jacinto College offers strong workforce programs that are directly aligned to employer needs and job opportunities in the region—especially in health care, maritime, and petrochemical industries,” said Joshua Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “The college has also made significant investments in guided pathways reforms, ensuring that students receive strong, consistent advising to help them stay on track to completion.»
Over the last 10 years, San Jacinto College has increased the number of certificates and associate degrees awarded by 169 percent. Last academic year, 7,019 students earned a certificate or degree from San Jacinto College. This increase is due to a laser focus on student success and the support students receive along their paths from when they first arrive at San Jacinto College through graduation. The college concentrates its efforts on initiatives that show results in student achievement and progress.
2019 Aspen Prize Winners
Indian River State College (Fort Pierce, FL)
Miami Dade College (Miami, FL)
Rising Star Award
Odessa College (Odessa, TX)
Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom (Lakewood, WA)
Alamo Colleges District – Palo Alto College (San Antonio, TX)
Broward College (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
CUNY Kingsborough Community College (Brooklyn, NY)
Mitchell Technical Institute (Mitchell, SD)
Pasadena City College (Pasadena, CA)
San Jacinto College (Pasadena, TX)