For the second year in a row, Northwest Kansas Technical College, in Goodland, has been selected by the Aspen Institute as one of the top 120 two-year colleges in the nation. This selection qualifies the college for eligibility to receive the coveted Aspen Prize.
In response to the President's leadership on this issue and in recognition of the education and workforce imperatives facing our country, the Aspen Institute, the Joyce, Lumina, and W.K. Kellogg Foundations, and the charitable foundations of Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase have partnered to launch the Aspen Prize for two-year college excellence.
The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence:
The purpose of the Aspen Prize is to recognize community colleges with outstanding academic and workforce outcomes in both absolute performance and improvements over time. By focusing on student success and lifting up models that work, the Aspen Prize will honor excellence, stimulate innovation, and create benchmarks for measuring progress.
Honors Excellence - Shines a spotlight on outstanding two-year colleges that deliver exceptional results in student completion, learning and workforce success, both in terms of absolute performance and dramatic transformation.
Stimulates Innovation - Identifies exemplars, document successful practices, and create opportunities to learn from them, generating momentum for reform-minded educators, legislators, employers, and two-year college presidents across the nation.
Clearly Defines Success - Contributes to the development of high-quality, consistent measures and benchmarks for assessing two-year college outcomes so prospective students and businesses can get a clear sense of how effective institutions are in helping students – including the most disadvantaged – learn, graduate, and secure good jobs.
Dr. Ed Mills, President of Northwest Tech, said, “The college is very honored to have been selected a second year in row as one of the nation’s top 120 two-year colleges." Due to its reputation for academic quality and community service, Northwest Tech has steadily won recognitions throughout Kansas, most recently with the 2012 Huck Boyd Award for Rural Leadership; and in the nation, also in 2012, as the first-ever two-year college ever to win the Apple Distinguished Program Award for its groundbreaking work in using iPad technology in teaching and learning. Northwest Tech has been known since its origin in 1964 for consistently producing outstanding, highly skilled, graduates who either enter the workforce or transfer on to four-year institutions for further academic preparation. Mills said, "We are extremely proud of not only of our accomplished graduates, but also of the extraordinary faculty and staff who, respectively, teach our quality programs and support student success."
The Aspen Prize is funded by America Achieves, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Lumina Foundation for Education.
The Aspen College Excellence Program aims to identify and replicate campus-wide practices that significantly improve college student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the New College Leadership Project and other initiatives, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ understanding and capacity to teach and graduate students, especially the growing population of low-income and minority students on American campuses. For more information, visit http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/aspen-prize.
The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.