Santa Fe College (SFC) in Gainesville, Florida, is the winner of the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
The biennial Aspen Prize, distributed by the Aspen Institute, awards 10 institutions with a total of $1.1 million. SFC won the top prize of $800,000. Juries and committees selected by the Aspen Institute chose the 10 finalists from among 1,123 public community colleges nationwide.
Community colleges leaders and higher education officials met at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., for the award ceremony on Wednesday.
Two finalists-with-distinction, Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI), located in Watertown, South Dakota, and Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) of Paducah won $100,000 each.
LATI has been a finalist-with-distinction for the past three years running. “For us to make it each time says a lot about the breadth and the depth of the good things that are going on at Lake Area Tech. We’re very proud of that,” LATI president Michael Cartney said.
In years past, LATI has brought together a committee of faculty, staff and students to determine how to allocate the prize money. Some of the money went towards innovation grants, which faculty and students can apply for, and some has gone to Aspen scholarships. <Read more.>