Santa Fe College Named One of the Top 10 Colleges in the Country

Santa Fe College Named One of the Top 10 Colleges in the Country


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Santa Fe College Named Among Ten Finalists for 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

Santa Fe College was named one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation yesterday by the prestigious Aspen Institute, setting the stage for the $1 million prize fund that will be awarded in March to one of the 10 finalists and up to four “finalists-with-distinction.”

The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. The selection of finalists was based on student academic achievement, degree and college completion, job placement, and minority and low-income student accomplishment.

Santa Fe was selected from more than 1,200 community colleges nationwide, as was Broward College in Ft. Lauderdale, making Florida one of only two states in the country with multiple finalists.

“This is a singular recognition of the very broad shoulders upon which the college has built its success,” said Santa Fe College President Jackson N. Sasser. “We acknowledge our former employees together with each current employee, and thank them profusely for their work. This commendation is all about their rigor and high expectations.”

Among Santa Fe’s accomplishments, the Aspen Institute noted Santa Fe’s high graduation and workforce placement rates.

“Santa Fe College’s high graduation and workforce placement rates speak for themselves. The college understands that students must both complete degrees, and be able to apply their learning in the labor markets, getting good-paying jobs after college,” said Aspen’s Josh Wyner.

The Aspen Top Ten Finalists reflect the diversity of America. The full list of the finalists includes:

Brazosport College, Lake Jackson, TX
Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, FL
College of the Ouachitas, Malvern, AR
Kingsborough Community College – CUNY, Brooklyn, NY
Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown, SD
Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Cumberland, KY
Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla, WA
West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Paducah, KY

The Aspen Institute will conduct site visits to each of the ten finalist institutions this fall and will also gather additional data on graduates’ labor market outcomes from states. Following a rigorous review process of the data and practices on each finalist, a distinguished Prize Jury co-chaired by John Engler, president of The Business Roundtable and former Governor of Michigan, and Richard Riley, former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education, will select a grand prize winner and up to four finalists-with-distinction to be announced in March 2013.

“I am honored to serve as chair of the board of trustees of a college whose students succeed at the highest levels in the country,” said Robert C. Hudson, chair of the District Board of Trustees. “I am not aware of a higher measure of the worth of a college than the success of its students in transferring to universities or advancing directly into good jobs. This honor recognizes the respect Santa Fe has for all its students.”

About The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Prize is funded by America Achieves, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, 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

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 offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit