$1M prize open to AACC

Alexandra Radovic, Reporter

A national institution invited AACC to apply for a $1 million award in November.

The Aspen Institute awards the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence to recognize high achievement and performance among community colleges.

The award measures student success in four areas: learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

According to Dr. Mike Gavin, vice president of learning at AACC, the award will go to student scholarships.

“The Aspen prize is the biggest honor you can receive as a community college,” Gavin said.

“We’re honored by this recognition,” Dr. Dawn Lindsey, the president of AACC, said in a press release. “To be … invited to apply for this prestigious award is a testament to the student-centered approach and innovative spirit of AACC’s staff and faculty.”

The Institute will choose the top 10 finalists in spring 2018. “Whether we win or not, we are honored to be nominated and we will continue doing what we are doing,” Gavin said.

During the application process, Gavin said he learned “AACC has more to celebrate than to improve upon, because students are the focus of our institution.”

AACC is one of two colleges in Maryland invited to apply for the prize. The other is College of Southern Maryland.