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OCC Named Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College

Aspen Prize BadgeOlney Central College has once again been named one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.

OCC is now eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. OCC was selected from nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide for the honor.

“We are pleased outside agencies are seeing the value we provide to the students in our district,” said OCC President Rodney Ranes. “Our focus on student retention and degree completion is paying off based on the data reviewed for this possible award.”

Awarded every two years since 2011, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions with outstanding achievement in learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students. OCC has been selected to compete for this prestigious honor each time it has been awarded.

OCC will advance to the next round of competition for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence by submitting an application to be reviewed through a rigorous evaluation for a spot on the top 10 Aspen Prize finalists list. Top 10 finalists will be named in May 2018. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data. A distinguished prize jury will select a grand prize winner, a finalists with distinction and a rising star in Spring 2019.

Two other Illinois Eastern Community Colleges made the Top 150, Frontier Community College in Fairfield and Lincoln Trail College in Robinson. A full list of the selected colleges and details on the selection process are available at www.aspenprize.org.

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