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Miami-Dade College awarded 2019 Aspen Prize for Excellence

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Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 11:39 am

$1 Million Prize Recognizes Excellence in Equitable Outcomes for Students During and After College

The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program announced Tuesday that Miami Dade College is a winner of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges.

The $1 million Aspen Prize, awarded every two years since 2011, recognizes outstanding institutions selected from an original pool of more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide.

With a singular focus on student success, the Aspen Prize assesses institutional performance in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, success after graduation in the labor market and in transfer to four-year institutions, and equity in access and success for students of color and low-income students.

“Excellent community colleges like these are dedicated to finding the best ways to foster social mobility for their students and develop talent for their communities,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program and an Aspen Institute vice president. “Miami Dade works tirelessly on reforms that have improved the graduation rate and virtually erased the achievement gap for student of color. Most importantly, the data make clear community colleges do a great job of preparing students for what comes next, whether that be pursuit of a bachelor’s degree or landing a good job.” 

Aspen Prize Winner – Miami Dade College – 96,000 students 

(as stated by the Aspen committee)

Miami Dade, a Finalist-with-Distinction for the Aspen Prize in 2011, provides a clear path to economic and social mobility for its students. The college is geographically dispersed, across eight campuses, and demographically diverse. Nearly three-quarters of students are Hispanic and 16 percent are Black. The college enrolls more than 17,000 immigrant students each year from more than 150 countries. The vast majority of students come from low-income households and are the first in their families to attend college. Against this backdrop, Miami Dade College plays a critical and inspirational role in providing an on-ramp to higher

education for students who may otherwise have never found one. In

pursuit of providing all students an exceptional learning opportunity, the college has transformed the student experience over the past decade by building clear program maps, redesigning academic and nonacademic supports, improving developmental education, and strengthening faculty

professional development.

MDC Student outcomes:

• Miami Dade has a 43 percent graduation and transfer rate for students of color, compared to the national average of 35 percent

• Miami Dade has a 47 percent bachelor’s attainment rate for transfer students, compared to the national average of 42 percent

• Miami Dade alumni earn $51,898 on average five years after graduation, compared to the $51,260 average salary of all regional workers

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