RCC Named One of Top 150 U.S. Community Colleges


RCC graduates at Commencement this past May. Completion rate is one of the major factors considered by the Aspen Institute in selecting its Top 150 community colleges in the nation.

College is eligible to compete for $1 million Aspen Prize     

RAMAPO – Rockland Community College has been named one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. RCC was selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize.

This is the second consecutive time the Aspen Institute has recognized RCC as a Top 150 community college. RCC is one of just four community colleges within New York to qualify for this year’s list.

“We are extremely pleased to be recognized by the Aspen Institute among the nation’s top community colleges,” said Dr. Michael A. Baston, RCC President. “Student success is our primary focus, and I am proud of the efforts of our faculty and staff to help students meet their goals.”

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes. Dr. Baston was a member of the inaugural class of Aspen Presidential Fellows, completing his fellowship shortly before taking over as RCC President in July.

Awarded every two years since 2011, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings; and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

The Top 150 were selected through a process of reviewing publicly available data. RCC will now move forward to the next round of the competition by submitting an application to be reviewed through a rigorous evaluation for a spot on the top ten Aspen Prize finalists list. Those finalists will be named in May 2018. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data.

A distinguished jury will select the grand prize winner in the spring of 2019. The jury will also name one or more finalists with distinction and designate at least one college as a rising star.

For more information on the Aspen Institute’s programs, visit highered.aspeninstitute.org.

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