A triumvirate of CUNY schools have advanced to the semifinals of the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
The prize, which comes with a $1 million reward, was once referred to as the “Oscars for great community schools” by former President Barack Obama.
The Aspen Prize evaluates schools and institutions based on exceptional student achievement in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings and high levels of success among minority and low-income students.
“We are delighted that three of our schools have been chosen for the next round of selection for the prestigious Aspen Prize,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez on April 28. “As the nation’s foremost honor for community colleges, the Aspen Prize recognizes CUNY’s great success in propelling students into the middle class and beyond, and preparing them for careers in in-demand fields that will transform their futures.”
Two of the schools currently in the semifinals — Kingsborough and Hostos Community Colleges — have previously competed for the prize, with Hostos being named as a top 10 finalist in 2015 and Kingsborough in 2019.
“This is terrifically exciting news, and a real testament to the individual and collective strength of the institution’s faculty — and its students,” said Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis. “Together we forge futures we couldn’t have dreamed of alone.”
The three colleges will now compete in the competition’s first round, which includes on-site visits by the Aspen Institute as well as collection of other important data.
“This accolade is a nod to the hard work of our faculty and staff, who support and prepare our students in achieving their dreams,” said Kingsborough President Claudia Schrader. “It also recognizes the College’s gains in student achievement, graduation rates, and the work we do to help New Yorkers rise from poverty to the middle class.”
The list will be further narrowed down to the top 10 finalists in early June, with the official winner being announced in late spring of 2023.
“The dedication and innovation of our faculty and staff in fulfilling our mission to educate and graduate students has awarded us this opportunity, and we look forward to the next round of the Aspen Institute’s selection process,” said LaGuardia President Kenneth Adams.