PCC Named Finalist for 2019 Aspen Prize


Pasadena City College was named recently as one of 10 finalists for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges.
The winner will be announced in April 2019. PCC also was named an Aspen Prize finalist in 2017.
Awarded every two years since 2011, the $1 million prize recognizes institutions that achieve high and improving student outcomes, selected from more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide. Focused solely on student access and success, the Aspen Prize recognizes community colleges with exceptional achievements in four areas: student learning; certificate and degree completion while in community college and after transferring to a four-year institution; employment and earnings rates after graduation; and access for and success of minority and low-income students.
“It is a tremendous honor for our college to be recognized by the Aspen Institute for the second time in a row,” said Rajen Vurdien, superintendent/president of Pasadena City College. “Our faculty, staff and students have been working together as never before to accelerate completion, enhance equity in our education and break down barriers to success. This nomination is clear proof that our work is paying off.”
Joshua Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, noted that PCC has shown progress.
“Pasadena City College has taken great strides to ensure that students learn what they need to be successful not only while in community college but also after they transfer to a four-year university,” Wyner said. “Faculty are at the center of making improvements, working to ensure that the college’s very diverse students receive a uniformly high-quality education.”
Just last week, PCC announced that 30 of its career education programs have been recognized by the state for growth in wages and employment outcomes. The high number of successful programs rank PCC among the top in the state.
“I’m so proud that the prestigious Aspen Institute has recognized the concrete benefits that Pasadena City College brings to our students,” said Anthony Fellow, president of the Board of Trustees of the Pasadena Area Community College District. “We have demonstrated time and again the economic benefits the college brings to our students, their families and our region. This nomination highlights these achievements for the entire country to see.”