WKCTC named in top five community colleges in nation

West Kentucky Community and Technical College Shows Strong Results in Student Learning, Completion, Equity and Employment/Earnings


Web Editor - Jay Marchmon

WASHINGTON – A local campus is buzzing with the news, and beaming with pride as a national program ranked it one of the five best community colleges in the nation.

Highlighting the need to improve student learning and  graduation rates in community colleges — leading to good jobs — the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced West Kentucky Community and Technical College as a “finalist with distinction” for the first annual Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, chosen from an original pool of over 1,000. The announcement follows a rigorous, yearlong effort by the Aspen Institute to assemble and review an unprecedented collection of data on community colleges and the critical elements of student success: student learning, degree completion and transfer, equity and employment/earnings after college.

This is the first national recognition of extraordinary accomplishments at individual community colleges. The Prize celebrates these top performers both to elevate the community college sector nationwide and help other institutions understand how to improve outcomes for the seven million students — nearly half of all undergraduates in post-secondary education — working toward degrees and certificates in community colleges.

The announcement made today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, involved leaders from across the fields of education, business, labor and philanthropy, including Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, a longtime educator; Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Aspen Institute President and CEO and Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson; John Engler, former Governor of Michigan and President of the Business Roundtable; and highly respected former Secretary of Education and South Carolina Governor Richard Riley. 

The naming of the winner follows an announcement of the ten finalists in September. The project was original unveiled at the White House Community College Summit in October 2010.