Hill College named by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program as one of the top 150 community colleges in the country for the first time in the college’s history

  Jessyca Brown
  Wednesday, November 8, 2023 2:17 PM
  General Events

Hillsboro, TX

Aspen Prize Top 150Hill College has been named by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program as one of 150 institutions out of the more than 1,000 community colleges in the nation eligible to compete for the 2025 $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among two-year colleges.

The Aspen Prize is awarded every two years and honors colleges with outstanding achievement in six areas—teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, access, and equity for students of color and those from low-income backgrounds.

By focusing on institutional models that achieve student success, the Aspen Prize encourages community colleges to strive for a holistic definition of achievement and to promote highly effective education and leadership practices.

After being selected in the top 150, colleges must go through an application process. The initial selection is based on publicly available data; the next step is for colleges to submit student success rates and narratives about their strategic plan (including key areas such as retention, credentials awarded, and completion and transfer rates) to better achieve the institution’s goals, which will lead to an intensive review process that will decide the recipients of the Aspen Prize in the spring of 2025.

“The Aspen Prize is rooted first and foremost in an assessment of whether colleges are walking the walk,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “As community colleges face enrollment variations, enroll students with pandemic-related learning loss, and graduate students into a rapidly changing labor market, it is easy to lose track of what matters most. The best community colleges are continuing to focus on advancing the core mission: making sure as many students as possible graduate with credentials that lead to fulfilling careers and reflect the development of diverse talent that communities, states, and our nation need.”

In addition to potential award money, by applying to the Aspen Prize colleges contribute to the community college field by providing information and reflections on community college practices, which are shared with other colleges in fellowship, research, and presentations to state systems, municipalities, and other stakeholders.

“Hill College students, faculty, staff, and community members should be exceedingly proud that the college is being recognized at the national level for its steadfast dedication to student success. Recognition like this certainly brings honor to the decades of hard work and dedication of countless contributors throughout the institution. Kudos to all, past and present, who have made Hill College what it is today,” said Hill College President Dr. Thomas Mills.

For a complete list of the 150 eligible institutions, visit https://highered.aspeninstitute.org/aspen-prize.

The Aspen Prize is generously funded by Ascendium, The Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan & Chase Co., and The Kresge Foundation.