Roane State Community College officials will learn in May if the college is among 10 finalists for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, among the nation’s most prestigious awards for community colleges, a press release said.
Roane State is among only 150 community colleges nationwide eligible to compete to become a finalist, the press release said. The college was selected from a pool of approximately 1,000 two-year colleges using publicly available data on student outcomes.
After a rigorous application process, the top 10 finalists for the 2019 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2018. Aspen Institute officials will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional data, the release said. A distinguished prize jury will select a grand prize winner, finalists with distinction, and rising stars in spring 2019.
“We are honored to be among 150 community colleges eligible for the Apsen Prize,” Roane State President Chris Whaley said in the press release. “Our faculty and staff have worked tirelessly on several student success initiatives, and I am very proud of their efforts.”
Roane State offers various student success initiatives that help students stay on track.
- COLS 1010 course: The course teaches students how to study and helps them explore career options.
- Curriculum maps: Roane State faculty and staff developed detailed curriculum maps that show students what courses they need to take, when they need to take them, and tasks, such as submitting their FAFSA, that they need to complete.
- Success Coaches: First-time, degree-seeking students are assigned an expert success coach who works one-on-one with students during their freshman year.
Roane State success outcomes have included a 65 percent persistence rate for Tennessee Promise students, the best among Tennessee’s 13 community colleges, the press release said. The college leads state community colleges in awards per FTE—a measure of efficiency in progressing students to graduation—and the college is third in freshman-to-sophomore retention.
The 2019 Aspen Prize is funded by the Joyce Foundation and the Siemens Foundation. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release was submitted by Owen Driskill.
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