BREMERTON – Olympic College is one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation, according to the Aspen Institute, and eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Awarded every two years, the Aspen Prize is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. Olympic College was selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide to compete for the $1 million grand prize.
Olympic College has made the top 150 in each of the past four cycles, reaching the top ten in 2015.
“It’s a distinct honor to be recognized by the Aspen Institute as one of the top community colleges in the nation,” said Olympic College President Dr. David Mitchell. “With 80 percent of jobs in Washington requiring a post-secondary credential, local access to higher education serves an important role in providing the skills needed to obtain a living-wage job.”
Other Washington colleges named among the top 150 include Lake Washington Technical Institute, Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom, Renton Technical College, South Puget Sound Community College, and Whatcom Community College.
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.
Olympic College is eligible to move to the next round of the competition for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence by submitting an application to be reviewed through a rigorous evaluation for a spot on the top ten Aspen Prize finalists list. Top ten 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 Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner, finalist(s) with distinction, and rising star(s) in spring 2019.
To read more on the selection process, visit www.http://highered.aspeninstitute.org/aspen-prize-program.
Previous winners of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence include: Lake Area Technical College in Watertown, South Dakota (2017); Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida (2015); co-winners
Olympic College is recognized as one of the top community colleges in the nation. In 2017, the College received the Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership Award from the American Association of Community Colleges in recognition of its partnership with PSNS & IMF. In 2015, the College was an Aspen Prize finalist, the preeminent national recognition for community and technical colleges. OC offers a variety of pathways for students to achieve their goals, from certificates and associate degrees to bachelor’s and beyond. Aspirations Achieved. Olympic.edu.