VCCCD Colleges Named Among 150 U.S. Community Colleges Eligible for 2023 Aspen Prize

Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura Colleges Vie for Coveted Award That Celebrates Excellence and Equity in Higher Education
CAMARILLO, Calif. - Nov. 3, 2021 - PRLog -- entura County's community colleges are among 150 institutions nationwide eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges are now eligible for the 2023 prize, known as the nation's signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America's community colleges. It recognizes colleges with robust student outcomes in equity, teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer rates and bachelor's degree attainment and workforce success.

Only 15% of the approximately 1,000 community colleges the Aspen Institute evaluates across the U.S. are selected to contend for the esteemed honor. This is the first time that all three Ventura County Community College District colleges have been eligible for the Aspen Prize at the same time. Ventura College was previously eligible in 2017, 2019 and 2021; and Moorpark College in 2019.

Since 2010, Aspen has chosen to focus intensively on community colleges because they are—as First Lady Dr. Jill Biden stated at the 2021 Aspen Prize ceremony—"our most powerful engine of prosperity."

The 150 eligible colleges have been invited to submit data and narratives as next steps in an intensive data and practice review process. The top 10 finalists for the 2023 Aspen Prize will be announced in spring/summer 2022. Following the announcement, the Aspen Institute will conduct two-day site visits to each finalist institution to gather additional data on employment and earnings outcomes and practices in learning assessment.

A jury of notable leaders will select a winner, finalists with distinction and institutions that have significantly improved their practices known as "Rising Stars" in late spring 2023.

Following the announcement of being named eligible for the prize, the VCCCD board expressed its appreciation of the honor:

"The fact that each of our colleges is eligible for this prize serves as a testament to the District's commitment to equity and high-quality education that yields professional and personal success for our diverse students," said VCCCD Board Chair Joshua Chancer.

For the list of the top 150 eligible institutions and to read more on the selection process, visit The Aspen Prize is made possible by generous support from Ascendium and the Joyce Foundation.

For more information about the Ventura County Community College District, please visit

Patti Blair
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