For the second year in a row, Walla Walla Community College has been named one of ten finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The school now enters the running for $1 million in prize money from the nonprofit Aspen Institute.
The national prize recognizes colleges for student learning outcomes, degree and college completion, success at finding jobs after graduation, and minority and low-income student success. It is the second year for the competition, which is designed to shine a spotlight on two-year schools with successful programs.
Walla Walla won $100,000 last year in the Aspen competition when it was named one of four “finalists with distinction.” This year, it was again recognized for staying on top of local economic trends and job growth, and creating innovative programs that are tied to the region’s economy, said Josh Wyner, executive director of the institute’s college excellence program.
The winning schools will be announced in March 2013. Walla Walla was the only Washington state school to make the top-10 list.