Santa Fe College again named among top 10 in the nation by prestigious Aspen Institute

For the second consecutive time, Santa Fe College has been named one of the top 10 colleges in the nation by the esteemed Aspen Institute. This honor qualifies SF as a finalist for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

“I am honored and grateful that the prestigious Aspen Institute has selected Santa Fe College as a top 10 college once again,” said Santa Fe College President Dr. Jackson N. Sasser. “This landmark recognition reflects the achievements of every student and employee of our college, members of our community and partners in education and economic development. It truly is the state of Florida’s award, of which we can all be proud.”

Presented every two years, the Aspen award is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. The selection of the top 10 colleges was based on student academic achievement, degree and college completion, job placement, and minority and low-income student accomplishment. SF was chosen from more than 1,000 colleges nationwide.

“Santa Fe College does an exceptional job of maintaining a strong focus on what students need to succeed both at the college and in what follows,” said Joshua Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program in Washington, D.C. “The results are clear—student success rates at Santa Fe far exceed the national average, not just for students overall but also for its sizable minority student population.”

Specific examples of student success that placed SF in the top 10 include:

  • Superior graduation/transfer rates (62 percent compared to 40 percent national average).
  • Strong success rates for underrepresented minority students who make up 20 percent of the SF student body (graduation/transfer rate of 49 percent compared to 34 percent national average).
  • Accountable and intentional methods of advisement, registration and monitoring of student progress from enrollment through graduation.
  • Clear and highly successful transfer pathways with four-year colleges, particularly to SF’s best partner, the highly selective University of Florida (70 percent acceptance rate for SF graduates).
  • Strong degree-to-work success in SF’s nationally accredited technical programs (ex: nursing, biotechnology, construction management, health administration).

The Aspen Institute will conduct site visits to each of the 10 finalist institutions this fall. Following a rigorous review process of the data and practices on each finalist, a distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner and up to four finalists-with-distinction to be announced in March 2015.

For more information on the Aspen Institute or the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.